Defensive Driving Tips for Teen Drivers
Defensive driving can help avoid car accidents and decrease the risk of harm or injury on the road. If you are an experienced driver, you know that being a licensed driver does not mean you are a good driver. Ironically, most consider themselves good drivers, but every driver on the road does not drive well. Some are inexperienced, but others simply do not embrace good driving skills and habits. Knowing this, new teen drivers can be nervous about taking to the street with their new license. For teenagers new to the driving scene, here are a few hints and tips about how to embrace defensive driving to stay safe and how to avoid bad habits that create road hazards for everyone.
What Are Some Common Bad Driving Habits That Create Road Hazards for Everyone?
- Driving Aggressively (aggressive drivers cause 1/3 of all traffic crashes)
- Distracted Driving (distracted driving is becoming a significant problem as more and more drivers “multi-task” while on the road by texting, talking on the phone, checking messages, snapchatting, eating, and even watching tv)
- Following Too Closely
- Making Sudden Turns
- Turning Without Signaling
- Weaving In and Out of Traffic
While you can’t control how other drivers drive, you can avoid dangerous driving behaviors like those listed above and incorporate defensive driving skills to help you avoid Texas car accidents and the dangers caused by other people’s poor driving.
Defensive Driving Skills That Keep You In Control on the Road:
Focus: Staying focused on the road is vital. Driving is a thinking activity. When driving, you need to be mentally engaged and thinking about many different factors: road conditions, speed, the position of the vehicle on the road, and to other cars, traffic laws, signs, signals, following directions, road markings, your mirrors, etc. Focusing on driving and driving alone is vital for road safety.
Avoid Distractions: Talking on the phone, checking social media, texting, checking messages, watching a video, etc. are all distractions that make drivers less capable of identifying potential problems on the road and reacting quickly. Drivers of all ages can become overconfident in their ability to navigate their vehicles through traffic safely. Overconfidence on the road is a frequent precursor to sloppy driving. Teen drivers and older, more experienced drivers alike should always remind themselves to stay focused solely on driving while behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Stay Awake and Alert: Did you know that driving “sleepy” is just as dangerous as driving under the influence? Avoid both – do not drive under the influence and do not drive when you are too tired. Both scenarios leave drivers unable to react quickly to potential road hazards and problems. For instance, when a driver ahead of you on the road slams their brakes on at the last minute, your reaction time may be affected if you are over-tired or driving under the influence. (And driving under the influence doesn’t just refer to alcohol. It can also refer to drugs, including prescription medication or over the counter drugs that affect your reaction time or your judgment).