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Safety driving tips for Teenage Drivers

  • Accept that you and you alone are in charge of your destiny.
  • Remember you may own the car but you do not own the road.
  • When you first get in the car, sit quietly for 30 seconds to get your head in the right place.
  • Always wear your seat belt and make sure all passengers wear theirs.
  • Adjust your car's headrest to a height behind your head not your neck.
  • Check and adjust your mirrors if necessary.
  • Make sure your windscreen is clean.
  • Do not carry more passengers than your car has seatbelts.
  • If you have passenger's onboard, take control, do not let their behaviour or noisy conversations distract you.
  • Get in the habit of driving one or two miles under the speed limit. Excess speed is one of the main causes of teenage accidents.
  • Don't speed up to get through traffic lights and don't jump red lights.
  • Green traffic lights do not guarantee safety; scan the junction before automatically driving through.
  • Use your indicators to signal your intention to turn or to change lanes.
  • Be particularly cautious at road junctions. Scan both ways before advancing and be extra vigilant for motorcycles.
  • Be particularly careful when approaching schools or old people's homes.
  • Be on the lookout for pedestrians or stray animals
  • Watch out for spoilt tarmac and potholes, especially after bad weather.
  • Be careful not to have the car stereo too loud. You might miss hearing a siren or a car horn that could warn you of possible danger.
  • Don't text or use your mobile phone while driving. It is illegal and the distraction while talking is akin to drunk driving.
  • Do not try to input your satellite navigation system while driving, even if you are stopped at traffic lights or in a queue of traffic. Pull off the road and park-up it is much safer and legal.
  • Don't fiddle with the car stereo or try to change a CD while you are driving. It's much safer to wait until you can pull over and stop. Taking your eyes off the road even for a few seconds can cause an accident. 
  • Driving needs your full attention so don't put on make-up or comb your hair, even if you are stopped at traffic lights.
  • Accidents have been caused by spillages so don't eat or drink while driving.
  • Don't drink and drive, and don't get in a car with anyone who has been drinking. Use a taxi or telephone your parents or friends to give you a lift home.
  • When out on the town, make sure no one is tempting the designated driver to drink alcohol.
  • Don't take drugs and drive. Under no circumstances should you get in a car with anyone who has been using drugs. Even some over the counter drugs can make a person drowsy. Always check the warning label.
  • Don't be tempted to drive if you are feeling tired. Use a taxi or telephone your parents or friends to give you a lift home.
  • Take a break on long journeys especially late at night and do not use cruise control. If you fall asleep at the wheel, the car will crash at the speed you have set your cruise control to maintain.
  • Always let your parents know if you are driving to a new place at night. Get complete directions before setting off and if your destination or time of arrival changes, tell your parents.
  • Be prepared for anything when driving alone. Carry a fully charged mobile phone with you, and always let someone know where you are going and what time you will be home. Never ever accept or give a lift to a stranger.
  • Drive at a speed that suits the weather conditions. If its snowing, icy or foggy, you may need to postpone your journey until the weather conditions improve. Better to arrive late than not at all.
  • Use dipped headlights during heavy rain or fog to make you more visible to oncoming drivers. (For added safety, some experts advise you to leave your lights on during daylight hours, regardless of weather conditions)
  • If you maintain your car regularly it should not let you down (See Tips and Advice Article No30)
  • Always check your car's roadworthiness before setting off. Are the tyres properly inflated? Have you got enough fuel to complete your journey?
  • Check the condition of your spare tyre. You don't want to have a puncture and find the spare missing or flat. (See Tips and Advice Article No33)
  • Carry a safety car kit. (See tips and Advice Article No31)

Safety driving tips for Teenage Drivers

Tips and Advice - Article No69 RoadDriver 2010

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