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How to Stay Safe on the Road

  

One of the most anticipated rites of passage for teens is getting a driver’s license. It is your first taste of independence and it means getting around with greater convenience. But with the right to drive comes the responsibility of being a driver.


Teen Drivers

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teens and young adults have the most accidents with automobile fatalities being the leading cause of death in people ages 16 to 21. This is due in part to driving inexperience but there are other factors that play a major role in the accident-prone driving habits of teens.
 
Impulsivity, peer pressure, alcohol and drug use, speeding, reckless driving and thrill seeking behavior are all major factors in the higher accident rates among teens. Teen drivers don't have to live up to the statistics. Teens can learn safe driving habits.


Follow the Rules When You Drive

Graduated licensing programs have been shown to benefit teen drivers. Graduated licensing programs put restrictions on new drivers for a probationary period. The probationary period can be months or years depending on where you live.
 
After the probationary period new drivers can apply to remove these restrictions by proving that they are good drivers. This usually involves having a clean driving record during the probationary period and passing another road test.

NHTSA studies have shown that new drivers are easily distracted and that teens are more likely to engage in risky behavior when in a group. For these reasons many jurisdictions have put limits on the number of passengers new drivers can carry.

Driving in extreme weather or in the dark can also be daunting for newer drivers so some jurisdictions do not allow new drivers to drive under these conditions.

All jurisdictions have a zero tolerance policy toward driving while impaired. During the probationary period the legal limit is zero-point-zero meaning you can’t have any alcohol in your system when you drive.
Breaching any one of these rules can cost you your driver's license.


Slow Down

This one may seem like a no-brainer but teens are more likely than any other age group to feel the need for speed. For teens speeding and drag racing are cheap thrills. Combine this with the rush of excitement we all feel when doing something new and the results can be deadly.
 
Teen brains simply do not process actions and consequences with the same level of acuity as the adult brain. As a result teens often don’t think about what could go wrong, they get caught up in the excitement of the moment. By slowing down and obeying posted speed limits you significantly reduce your chances of being in an accident.


Buckle Up

Always wear your seat belt and insist that your passengers do the same. Using a seat belt may seem like a simple way to avoid serious injury but a surprising number of people, not just teens, don’t strap in before they drive.
 
Don’t believe the urban myths that seat belts can actually hurt you. The number of people who have been harmed by seat belts is nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands of people saved by them each and every year. So take no more passengers than you have seat belts for in your car and make sure they all buckle up before you take to the road.


Don’t Take Too Many Passengers

Keep the number of people in your car to a minimum. If you live in an area that has passenger restrictions for new drivers strictly adhere to the legislated number of people you can have in your car.
 
Studies by both the NHTSA and the Federal Highway Administration have shown that teens become more reckless behind the wheel when they are in a larger group. When there are lots of people in the car teens have been shown to be more likely to speed, to allow unlicensed peers to drive, to drive while intoxicated, to take passengers without seat belts or allow people to sit on other passenger’s laps. Peer pressure almost always plays a role in street racing and other car games played by teens.


Never Drive Impaired

Never drive while under the influence of alcohol, prescription or street drugs, or over the counter medications. This is the gold standard of safe driving rules but lots of people out there still don’t seem to get it. Driving under the influence is asking for trouble.
 
Teens are not the only offenders when it comes to driving impaired but their lack of driving experience make the risks that much greater. Couple this with the fact that when teens drink and drive they are more likely to take passengers and it’s a recipe for multi-victim disaster.

Driving impaired is never a good idea no matter how old you are, how much you think you can handle and how many people are counting on you to get home. The fact that your friends are counting on you for a ride home is never a reason to drive drunk. When you need to drive others home you should not to drink at all. Don’t be a driver if you think you are going to drink.

How to Stay Safe on the Road One of the most anticipated rites of passage for teens is getting a driver’s license. It is your first taste of independence and it means getting around with greater convenience. But with the right to drive comes the responsibility of being a driver.
 
 

Teen Drivers

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teens and young adults have the most accidents with automobile fatalities being the leading cause of death in people ages 16 to 21. This is due in part to driving inexperience but there are other factors that play a major role in the accident-prone driving habits of teens.
 
Impulsivity, peer pressure, alcohol and drug use, speeding, reckless driving and thrill seeking behavior are all major factors in the higher accident rates among teens. Teen drivers don't have to live up to the statistics. Teens can learn safe driving habits.


Follow the Rules When You Drive

Graduated licensing programs have been shown to benefit teen drivers. Graduated licensing programs put restrictions on new drivers for a probationary period. The probationary period can be months or years depending on where you live.
 
After the probationary period new drivers can apply to remove these restrictions by proving that they are good drivers. This usually involves having a clean driving record during the probationary period and passing another road test.

NHTSA studies have shown that new drivers are easily distracted and that teens are more likely to engage in risky behavior when in a group. For these reasons many jurisdictions have put limits on the number of passengers new drivers can carry.

Driving in extreme weather or in the dark can also be daunting for newer drivers so some jurisdictions do not allow new drivers to drive under these conditions.

All jurisdictions have a zero tolerance policy toward driving while impaired. During the probationary period the legal limit is zero-point-zero meaning you can’t have any alcohol in your system when you drive.
Breaching any one of these rules can cost you your driver's license.


Slow Down

This one may seem like a no-brainer but teens are more likely than any other age group to feel the need for speed. For teens speeding and drag racing are cheap thrills. Combine this with the rush of excitement we all feel when doing something new and the results can be deadly.
 
Teen brains simply do not process actions and consequences with the same level of acuity as the adult brain. As a result teens often don’t think about what could go wrong, they get caught up in the excitement of the moment. By slowing down and obeying posted speed limits you significantly reduce your chances of being in an accident.


Buckle Up

Always wear your seat belt and insist that your passengers do the same. Using a seat belt may seem like a simple way to avoid serious injury but a surprising number of people, not just teens, don’t strap in before they drive.
 
Don’t believe the urban myths that seat belts can actually hurt you. The number of people who have been harmed by seat belts is nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands of people saved by them each and every year. So take no more passengers than you have seat belts for in your car and make sure they all buckle up before you take to the road.


Don’t Take Too Many Passengers

Keep the number of people in your car to a minimum. If you live in an area that has passenger restrictions for new drivers strictly adhere to the legislated number of people you can have in your car.
 
Studies by both the NHTSA and the Federal Highway Administration have shown that teens become more reckless behind the wheel when they are in a larger group. When there are lots of people in the car teens have been shown to be more likely to speed, to allow unlicensed peers to drive, to drive while intoxicated, to take passengers without seat belts or allow people to sit on other passenger’s laps. Peer pressure almost always plays a role in street racing and other car games played by teens.


Never Drive Impaired

Never drive while under the influence of alcohol, prescription or street drugs, or over the counter medications. This is the gold standard of safe driving rules but lots of people out there still don’t seem to get it. Driving under the influence is asking for trouble.
 
Teens are not the only offenders when it comes to driving impaired but their lack of driving experience make the risks that much greater. Couple this with the fact that when teens drink and drive they are more likely to take passengers and it’s a recipe for multi-victim disaster.

Driving impaired is never a good idea no matter how old you are, how much you think you can handle and how many people are counting on you to get home. The fact that your friends are counting on you for a ride home is never a reason to drive drunk. When you need to drive others home you should not to drink at all. Don’t be a driver if you think you are going to drink.




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