- Always wear your seat belt–and make sure all passengers are buckle up, too.
- Adjust your car’s headrest to a height behind your head–not your neck–to minimize whiplash in case you’re in an accident.
- Never try to fit more people in the car than you have seat belts for them to use.
- Obey the speed limits, Going too fast gives you less time to stop or react. Excess speed is one of the main causes of teenage accidents.
- Don’t run red lights.
- Use turn signals to indicate your intention to turn or to change lanes. Turn it on to give the cars behind you enough time to react before you take the action. Also, make sure the signals turns off after you’ve completed the action.
- When light turns green, make sure intersection clears before you go.
- Don’t drive like you own the road; drive like you own the car.
- Make sure your windshield is clean. At sun rise and sun set, light reflecting off your dirty windshield can momentarily blind you from seeing what’s going on.
- Don’t blast the radio. You might miss hearing a siren or a horn that could warn you of possible trouble.
- Make sure your garage door is completely open before backing out of it. This was submitted by another teen who learned this one from his dad’s mistakes.
- Drive into your garage straight, not on an angle.
- Make sure your car has fuel in it. Don’t ride around with the gauge on empty–who knows where you might get stranded.
- Don’t take drugs or drive if you’ve taken any. Don’t ride with anyone who has been using drugs. Even some over the counter drugs can make you drowsy. Check label for warnings.
- Don’t drive with small children or even small teenage friends as passengers in a front seat that has a passenger-side air bag. They should be buckled up in the back seat. Recent transportation studies show that small children may be injured by the air bags even in low impact collisions. (Actually, it’s safer not to drive with friends and kids in the car when you’re learning to drive. They can be distracting.)
- Don’t talk on the car phone, put on make-up, comb your hair, or eat while driving. People who talk on car phones while driving are four times more likely to have an accident. If you need to make a call, pull off the road to a safe spot and park.
- Don’t fiddle with the radio while you are driving. It’s better to wait until you can pull over and stop because even taking your focus off the road for a few seconds could lead to an accident.
- Use good quality tires and make sure they are inflated to the right pressure (check your owners manual for what is right for your tires and car).
- Maintain your car. Bald tires, a slipping transmission, or a hesitant engine could lead to accidents.
- Use headlights during daylight driving, especially on long stretches of desert highway and rural roads to make you more visible to oncoming drivers.
- Watch out for potholes, especially after bad weather
- Be on the lookout for motorcycles, bikes, and pedestrians
When driving to a new place, get complete directions before you go. Figure out what exits you need to take before hand