Getting a driver’s license does not guarantee that you will be safe on the road. Even experienced drivers can falter when driving. For new drivers, navigating the road can be risky since they’re bound to face several unexpected situations. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of U.S. teen deaths, finds Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System). And the problem is big enough.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2,163 U.S. teens aged between 16 and 19 were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2013. It also indicates that another 243,243 teens in the U.S. were admitted to the emergency departments for treating car crash related injuries in the same year. This means, almost six teens between 16 and 19 are killed daily in the country due to motor vehicle accidents.
CDC’s reports also suggest that although young people aged between 15 and 24 represent just 14% of the country’s population, they account for around $19 billion (30%) of the total costs related to motor vehicle damages among male population and $7 billion (28%) among females.
It is also found that young male drivers and passengers aged between 16 and 19 are mostly at risk; in fact, almost two times compared to their female counterparts. Car crash risk is extremely high for newly licensed drivers, particularly during the first months of their licensure. To help in this regard, this post presents a few tips that can make driving a relatively safer proposition for new drivers.
1. Get More Training
Even after you have passed your license test, you need to get more training to really start pulling away alone on a busy street. When you are preparing for your licensure and/or learning to drive, instructors usually show you the ropes in all possible conditions. But in real life you won’t be driving through quiet back streets but in busy towns and motorways. In addition, you will have to drive in bad weather as well as at night too. More often than not, you need to drive in less than favourable environments on a regular basis.
To be on the safer side, always opt for some further driving education workshops, either through your insurance company or a local safety organization. Completing advance level training helps you learn to drive on motorways, in busy towns, at night, in all kind of weather and in almost all sort of stressful environments that you are likely to experience in real life. It will not only help you become a better driver, these advance level training classes also help you find a cheaper insurance premium as they reduce your chances of getting involved in a car accident.
2. Follow the Safety Rules
No amount of training can help you on the road if you fail to follow the safety rules. And there are certain rules you must never break for you will not only be penalized for disobeying them if caught, they may even cost you your life. You should, for example, always wear your seat belt and make sure your passengers have buckled up before you start the car.
There are some other rules as well that you must always follow. These include:
- Never cross the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit is one of the major reasons for teen car accidents as excess speed gives you less time to react or stop your car.
- Your windshield must also be clear as a dirty windshield will not only impair your visibility, light reflecting of them during sunrise and sunset can blind you momentarily.
- Never drink and drive. Driving under the influence is another reason for teen deaths in the U.S. You are not only putting your and your passenger(s) life at risk, but are also jeopardizing others on the road.
- Make sure the height of the headrest of your car is behind your head and not your neck. This will help you minimize whiplash, if you get into an accident.
- Stay away from distractions while you are driving. Distracted driving, which involves any other activities while driving that take your focus off the road, is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents in the country. A recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report found that distraction causes 58% of teen driver car accidents.
In addition, there are other safety rules you need to follow while on the road. In case you get involved into a motor vehicle crash, remember that the other parties involved in the crash will try to blame it on you even if they were at fault. And disobeying any of these rules and others will only give the opponent party’s car accident lawyers the much-needed opportunity they will be looking for to save their client’s skin.
3. Know Your Car
Before driving your new shiny car, take some time to get know it. Sit in your new car and turn it on and enjoy the feel. Take a look at the various buttons inside and learn about their functionalities. Where are the switches for your vehicle’s front and rear light or the hazard light? How do you switch on your corresponding warning lights? How do you turn your radio and GPS on/off?
You need to know these little things before you start driving down the street. In fact, you need to be absolutely sure about these features as activating/deactivating any of them in a hurry can take your focus away from the road, leading to an accident.
4. Take Care of the Blind Spot
Every time you turn right or change lanes, check your blind spot. This is the area that’s outside of your peripheral vision and your blind spot is a pretty large area where cars and bikes can lure undetected until it is too late. So whenever you are changing lanes or turning right, make sure you check your blind spot properly to avoid crashes.
Also, never drive in other driver’s blind spot. Not everyone is careful enough to practice defensive driving while on the road, but you can always put the onus on yourself and stay clear. For example, if you are driving to the right of and somewhat behind another car, the driver perhaps cannot see you. In such situations
5. Your New Car is Your Friend
Enjoy your new car – it will be your buddy for a long time and you’ll have many adventures together and everyone remembers the their first car. As a new driver, you probably lack the experience but you can always be diligent to avoid accidents and unfavourable situations while behind the wheel. You’ll obviously want to keep your car in good shape for a long time, so following these tips mentioned above will help you save your life, your car and your money. Also, remain calm in frustrating situations as it is better to accept small delays than jeopardizing your life and those of others on the road with reckless driving.
Author Bio: Rachel Oliver is a thought leader in the field of Law. She is keen on gathering information and sharing her opinion on personal injury law, employment law and likes.