Tips for Becoming a Better Teenage Driver
One of the greatest feelings you’ll experience in high school is the sweet relief of independence after you get your driver’s license. If you get your own car, you’ll become the reliable driver in your friend group—especially if you’re a good driver.
Passing your final driving test and sitting through the licensing process at the DMV is only the first step to honing your driving skills. Keep improving your driving skills every day and gain more confidence behind the wheel with these tips for becoming a better teenage driver.
Minimize Your Distractions
Just because you passed your driving test doesn’t mean you can stop practicing safe driving precautions. Every single driver must keep their attention on the road—not on their phone, food, or distracting passengers.
Many adults may think they don’t need to worry about distracted driving once they’ve become a driving “expert,” but you shouldn’t follow their example. Becoming a better driver is about more than surpassing your peers—it’s also about becoming an example for every other driver on the road, distracted adults included.
Be Cautious, But Not Too Cautious
You should exercise caution while you follow the rules of the road, but too much concern and indecision can lead to dangerous situations. Driving requires quick thinking, which sometimes means putting anxieties and cautions to the side.
When teens first start out driving, it’s common for many to experience a close call or a stressful scenario that induces a fear of getting behind the wheel. Amaxophobia, or the fear of driving, may lead you to stop driving entirely or to put off getting your license for years. If you experience anxiety while driving that causes you to be overcautious with your decisions, it’s important to take steps to overcome that fear—anxious, overemotional driving can often prove more dangerous than overconfidence.
Look Over Any Directions Before You Drive
GPS technology has revolutionized the way we drive and find our way to our destinations, but if you want tips for becoming a better teenage driver, you should try learning your route before you leave. You don’t have to stop relying on your phone for directions—having a general idea of where you need to go can help you visualize the turns, exits, and traffic before you experience them firsthand.
Search for your directions and trace the route looking for any landmarks you’ll see along the way—look for roads that you know, places you’ve seen, and intersections you want to avoid. Honing your navigation skills requires time, patience, and practice; once you’re an expert navigator, you’ll never feel lost when you’re off-course—you’re just taking an alternate route!