Teen Driving Tips
One of the highlights of the teen years is the ability to get a driver’s license. Of course, all states have required tests that must be passed, both written and driving ones. However, there are many rules that should be adhered to, as different situations pop up when drivers are on the road. Since teenagers are driving for the first time, it is important to know all the rules of the road.
Driving in Bad Weather
It’s easy to drive on a bright, sunny day. But once winter hits, snow and ice can make for hazardous conditions. Follow teen driving tips to ensure a safe drive in inclement weather conditions. Winter driving can be the worst, especially for inexperienced teenage drivers. To drive safe:
- Always make sure the hazard lights, or daytime running lights, are on.
- Brake softly and gently, and keep a minimum of three car lengths between you and the car in front of you.
- When starting out in snow and ice, test the brakes gently to see how bad the roads are.
- In rain, slow down to avoid hydroplaning.
- Keep the windshields clean.
- Keep the headlights and back brake lights clean and clear of snow, ice and debris.
- Carry the essential winter items, such as chains, de-icer, an ice scraper, windshield wiper fluid, a shovel in case you get stuck, and sand in the event you need traction to get out of snow and mud.
- Give yourself plenty of time to go somewhere when it is bad out.
- Keep the gas tank full.
Driving on the Highway
Teenagers should start out slow when driving on the highways. The first time should be done either very early in the morning or later at night when the traffic is not too bad. Highway driving can be tricky, even for experienced drivers, so first time drivers should tread carefully.
- Practice merging safely onto the roadway a number of times until comfortable doing so in heavier traffic.
- Get into the habit of frequently checking on the vehicles that are around.
- Big trucks and tractor trailers can kick up a lot of water and slush if it is raining, so make sure the windshield wipers work properly.
- When in front of a large commercial vehicle, such as an 18 wheeler, give plenty of warning for lane changes and turns.
- Stay within site of a tractor-trailers mirrors- if you can’t see their mirrors, then they cannot see you.
- Obey the speed limit.
- Watch for merging traffic, and pull into the left hand lane if clear to allow others access.
- Many states have laws that only permit drivers to pass in the left hand lane, and not stay driving in them.
Driving Near School
Teenagers may be driving themselves to school, and driving during the hours that schools are starting and ending. There are many tips that should be followed while driving near a school.
- Drive below the posted speed limit. Most schools will use flashing lights to warn drivers to slow down, usually during the hours of 7 am to 9am, and again from 2pm to 4pm. However, depending on the school, these times can change.
- Stop for all school buses, even if their flashing lights are not on.
- Always stop at crosswalks.
Other Driving Resources
There are other safety issues that should be followed for teens to drive safely. Reading up on cell phone, speeding, and traffic laws is a good idea to make sure that teenagers are obeying all the laws of the road. Other tips include finding a place to buy a car, such as a car donation company. Many times, these companies accept old car donations which they then auction off a low price. This can be a great place for finding a starter car for a teen.
- GHSA: The Governor’s Highway Safety Association
- MIT: State traffic and speeding laws
- DMV: Department of Motor Vehicles
- Special Olympics Car Donation: Purchasing a car that donates to a good cause is a smart move for teens,
- Car Buying Tips: Car buying tips for a first time buyer
Obeying the laws of the road will help insure that there are no accidents, and that teenagers learn the best way to drive as safely as possible.