Most every teen has heard the same speech from their teachers and parents about not texting and driving; but there are more rules to being a safe driver than just putting down the cell phone. We should always be alert and aware of what is going on in and outside of our vehicle. We should also remain calm, cool, and collected. Let’s look at the rules every first-time driver should follow.
The first rule of driving is to adjust the vehicle to fit our needs. Making adjustments to our vehicle ensures we’ve optimized our safety. Adjusting seats and mirrors also makes us feel comfortable behind the wheel, which also lessens the possibility of a collision. When we sit down in the driver’s seat, we should take note of a couple of crucial things.
- Is the seat adjusted for us to reach the pedals?
- Are our mirrors tilted in the optimal direction?
- Do we have any way to view our blind spot?
- Is the radio (or music device) set to the right channel (playlist or tune) and at optimum volume level?
- Is our phone out of our reach?
These are all critical adjustments to ensure we are prepared and comfortable as we start rolling down the street.
Take a Deep Breath
All the preparation in the world won’t help us if we’re too nervous to drive cautiously. That is why every new driver should stop and take a deep breath before starting the engine.
It is also important to not overthink situations on the road. Making judgments and decisions quickly is an important skill to develop. If we intend to change lanes, then we should signal, check ahead, check our mirrors, check our blind spot, and if it is clear in all three, then it is safe to switch lanes.
Being indecisive is when collisions can take place. So, take a deep breath and be decisive on the road so that we can keep ourselves and those around us as safe as possible.
Teen drivers must also only pay attention to the task at hand: driving. First and foremost, multi-tasking is never appropriate. Don’t do makeup, eat, or text (especially not this one) while driving. It also can be distracting to roll down the windows, listen to the radio, and more. Be sure that the focus is purely on the road and make it your objective to get from point A to point B safely.
Mind the Roads
Staying away from certain areas and roads when we start out as new drivers can help us avoid getting into situations where we’re not prepared. For example, driving in highly congested areas or in places where roadways change direction based on the time of day can be risky. In Phoenix, both 7th Avenue and 7th Street have a middle turn lane that during rush hour becomes a driving lane, not a turn lane.
Don’t go to new places without knowing more about driving laws and speed limits. Before you become a licensed driver make sure you have had a lot of time on major highways and interstates so that you can develop the necessary competence to drive safely in those environments.
These are the rules that first time drivers should follow to ensure they’re well equipped to start building a long, safe driving record. Keeping the car customized, staying calm and focused, and minding the roads diligently can all help in keeping teen drivers safe while exploring their new freedom.