Beware of New Drivers

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I do not know about you, but I could not wait until the day I turned 16 when I would finally be able to ask my mom and dad for the keys to the car. When I finally took all the driver's education courses and passed my road test, I was ecstatic. Driving, to me, mean freedom; it mean independence. Being able to drive on your own is every teenager's dream and every parent's nightmare. It can also be a nightmare for other drivers on the roadways you're not careful.

Accepting Responsibility

Ok, so what you got a license. Now, you need to prove to the rest of the drivers out there (who have tons more experience than you) that you deserve to keep that license. A lot of the time, new drivers (and especially those with more experience) forget that driving is not a right; it's a privilege. As soon as you sit down behind that steering wheel, you should automatically be accepting responsibility for your driving actions. When you see aggressive drivers on the roadways or people who consistently break the traffic laws, you can be sure that they have long-forgotten that driving is a privilege because they're abusing it!

Parent Intervention

Just because a teenager goes to driver's education classes and passed their road test does not mean that they have accepted safe driving skills. The true test will come when that new driver is behind the wheel for the first time and has to make decisions for themselves. Good, defensive driving is a combination of good driving skills as well as good attitudes and decision making. That's why it's important for parents to sit down with their children before the go to driver's ed, after they've completed driver's ed-and even every once in a while, simply to remind them of the importance of being a smart driver.

The majority of new drivers are teenagers, and sometimes when you're young, you tend to want to show off for your friends. Well, the roadway is no place to do it. If you know that your friends are going to distract you while driving, limit the number of people that travel in your vehicle while you're driving it. Other things to keep in mind include:

Cool Car- if you're lucky enough to choose what car you drive, do not always go for the "cool car," choose one that has good safety features. Parents should assist in this decision.

No Drinking Allowed: Never allow ANYONE to consume alcoholic beverages in your vehicle while you're driving- especially you!

Night Driving: Avoid driving at night whenever it is not necessary. Most accidents tend to happen at night, and while you may be driving just fine; there's no telling what other driver is not.
Know the statistics. More people die from vehicle-related injuries in the United States each year. Practice defensive driving all of the time, and encourage your friends to do the same. Driving can be an extremely rewarding experience if you're smart about it!

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