Monday 26 February 2024

Common Mistakes for Young Drivers

A young woman sitting behind the wheel of a car

As a parent, one of your main concerns is probably keeping your kids safe. But did you know that car accidents are one of the leading causes of death for teens in the United States?  You can help keep your teen driver safe by teaching them about common mistakes made while driving, and how to avoid them. Keep reading to learn more.

Not knowing the rules of the road

Knowing the rules of the road is absolutely essential for staying safe behind the wheel. Many people don’t realize that much of their driving knowledge is gained through simply becoming familiar with a particular area but sometimes you may get complacent and not think to double-check whether or not the rules are different than what they expected. Being aware of any differences between places can make all the difference! Not only will it help a driver be less likely to commit traffic violations, but also they’ll gain a better understanding of how to navigate even an unfamiliar area safely. While most of this information will be covered in driver’s ed or materials for a driving license, it never hurts to go over laws specific to your state or city before your teenagers get behind the wheel.

Speeding

We’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another: speeding. While going over the speed limit may seem like a harmless way to get somewhere faster, there are actually consequences that can be life-threatening – both for you and others around you. Speeding increases your chances of getting in an accident and also increases the severity of any damage that is incurred as a result. It is essential to remember that being vigilant and staying within the posted speed limit are essential steps to maintaining safe driving habits, especially in areas with heavy traffic, such as highways and other busy roads. Be a good example for your kids and exercise caution when driving.

Not using turn signals

Not using turn signals, or improper use of them is a mistake that more drivers make than you might think. Not only can it be confusing for the other drivers on the road, but it is also very dangerous and could lead to accidents. To avoid letting your kids make this mistake, always make sure to be mindful of their turn signals and double-check that they are working properly before driving. As well, it’s best to be sure you’re a good example for them when you drive, making sure that you use them whenever you change lanes or turn. It’s a small action but it can have a huge impact on keeping the roads safe for all drivers.

Using a cell phone while driving

Cell phone distraction is one of the biggest causes of collisions on the roads today. While most people are aware of the dangers associated with using a cell phone while driving – whether that be texting, calling, or taking selfies – it remains an issue as drivers continue to give in to temptation or habit. It’s important to remember that even hands-free technology can still be dangerous while on the road; conversations, music selection, and other things that take your eyes off the road can all result in serious accidents. Instead of succumbing to these temptations, make sure your child puts away their phone for the duration of your drive so their focus can be locked on the road ahead.

Distracted driving

Distracted driving is becoming an increasingly dangerous issue, with countless accidents being caused by drivers distracted by their phones, passengers, or other objects within the vehicle. Whether it’s changing channels on the radio, having an intense conversation, or snacking on a drive-thru meal – all of these activities take our eyes and minds away from the road. It’s critical to help eradicate this type of behavior while driving in order to keep ourselves and others safe. Even with all the whistles and bells newer-generation vehicles have, getting distracted will inevitably lead you to much more bumper repair than you ever wanted to deal with.

Following too closely

Following too closely is one of the most dangerous driving behaviors on the road. It can lead to serious collisions, especially at high speeds or during wet or icy conditions. Maintaining a safe distance between vehicles is the best way to stay safe when driving. When traffic builds up, reducing speed can help create more space between vehicles and provide a cushion in case something unexpected happens. Additionally, keeping your headlights clean and using them whenever visibility is questionable will also increase safety on the roads by making it easier for other drivers to spot you from a distance. Avoiding common mistakes such as following too closely is essential in preserving everyone’s safety while out on the road.

 

By taking the time to learn and understand the common mistakes people make when driving, you can put yourself in a much better position to help young people avoid them. Knowing what to look for will help you be more aware of your child’s driving, and will let you be a better mentor to them. Doing so ultimately makes both of you safer drivers.

 

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