While there are scary statistics that involve teens and driving, crashes involving 16 and 17-year-old’s have significantly declined over the past 15 years. As a young driver in a big city like Austin, it’s important that you are aware of other motorists on the road and keep your full focus on what is ahead of you. With that in mind, here are a few ways on how to reduce your chances of being involved in a car accident.
Wear Your Seat Belt
Research indicates that more than 50% of teens killed in a car accident were not wearing their seatbelt. While federal law mandated seatbelts for all vehicles more than 50 years ago, teens are the most likely demographic to not wear their seat belts. Whether you’re driving alone, with others, or only going a short distance, it’s important that you get into the habit of putting your seatbelt on before starting your vehicle. Seatbelts save lives, so make sure that you and any passengers in your vehicle are wearing their seatbelt.
Put Your Cell Phone Away
Most teens feel they can’t live without their smartphone. There are many distractions that a smartphone can bring, which is a leading cause of crashes for teens. If you use your device when driving, it will take your eyes, mind, and hands off the road, which can result in devastating consequences.
Say No to Peer Pressure
If there is more than one teen in a vehicle, the chances of being involved in a fatal car accident will increase significantly, which is why so many states across the country have enacted graduated driver’s licenses. This reduces the number of passengers a new driver can carry within their car. As a teen, you may be impressionable and want to show off to your friends, however, it’s important that you be mature and say no to peer pressure. Running through red lights, speeding, or driving aggressively will put you and other passengers in danger, so staying in control of the vehicle and being a responsible driver is key.
Utilize Teen Safety Features
There are several automakers who have designed teen driving features that promote safe driving habits. Whether it’s by limiting the car’s top speed, monitoring seat belt usage, or restricting audio volume levels, making use of teen safety technology and features can add an extra layer of protection when driving and reduce your risk of being in a car accident.
Sleep, then Drive
When passing your driving test, it’s only natural that you will want to spend every waking hour driving around and enjoying the new found freedom of the open road, however, it’s important that you are in the best frame of mind before getting in the driving seat. Getting plenty of sleep each night will help you stay focused and boost concentration levels. Sleepiness can impair your attention, coordination skills, and working memory, which will put you at a greater risk of a car crash. If you find yourself in a car accident, it’s important that you find a car accident lawyer who can guide you through your case. As a teen, passing your test and being able to legally drive can be exciting and exhilarating. To stay safe on the road, all the tips above can help keep you in control of the vehicle and minimize your risk of being in a collision.