8 Tips for Teen Drivers

January 24, 2020

Getting your first driver’s license can be an exhilarating feeling. You are now at an age where you have more freedom to go and do things on your own. That said, teen drivers often are ill-prepared for real-world driving situations. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in the first 30 years of an American’s life.

Following are some essential safety tips for teen drivers that all drivers should follow:

1. Wear Your Seatbelt

In Kentucky, seatbelt laws are primary. This means that you can be pulled over and ticketed for not wearing your seatbelt or for not ensuring your passengers buckle up. 

Motor vehicle deaths in Kentucky are higher than the national average. Just putting on your seatbelt can increase your chances of surviving a car wreck by about 50%. According to the KY State Police Website, 717 people were killed in car accidents in the state in 2019.

2. Drive a Safe Speed

A safe speed may be less than the actual speed limit, depending on road conditions, weather, construction, visibility, or traffic congestion. One of the most significant risks for teen drivers, particularly boys, is driving too fast for conditions. 

In 2018, speeding killed 9,378 people nationwide. Speeding accounts for approximately 30% of all auto accident deaths.

3. Know Your Vehicle

Understanding how to operate your vehicle’s turn signals, hazard lights, and adjusting seats and mirrors for safe operation can save your life. Learn the controls for your radio and AC, so you are not distracted while driving.

Check your owner’s manual for information on how to use each component of your vehicle. If you can’t find your owner’s manual, you can typically find the manual online.

4. Watch Your Blind Spots

While many newer vehicles come equipped with warning indicators for cars approaching from the side, most older vehicles do not have this feature. In addition to these indicators, it’s crucial to thoroughly check your mirrors and surroundings before changing lanes. Many new drivers may check their mirrors before changing lanes, without noticing a vehicle that may be in their mirror’s blind spot.

Take your time when changing lanes. Use your signal to indicate your intention, then check multiple times to ensure there is no car in your blind spot before changing lanes. Taking your time also gives other motorists a chance to slow down or move out of your way so you may shift lanes safely.

5. Be Courteous

Too often, accidents are caused by being too aggressive while driving. Slow down and be courteous to other drivers. Allow another vehicle to go first, slow down or move over to allow a car to change lanes safely and treat other drivers with respect. When drivers are too aggressive or cut others off, it can cause road rage, which can lead to a car accident (or worse).

6. Use Your Signals

Other drivers cannot tell your intentions unless you use signals to help them. When you are preparing to turn, make sure to use your turn signal. If you are planning to stop, push your brakes to slow down and signal your intention to stop.

Also, make sure you turn off your signals when you have completed your turn. While these typically go off automatically, they sometimes stay on. This can be confusing to other drivers. Be cautious of others who have forgotten to turn off their signals as well.

7. Give Yourself Plenty of Distance

When possible, leave about one car length between you and the car in front of you for every 10mph of speed. This isn’t possible sometimes in major congestion; however, it can be a life-saver. A rear-end accident can happen in a fraction of a second. Try not to ever tailgate another vehicle and, if possible, move over safely if someone is tailgating you. 

8. Keep Your Eyes On the Road

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Put your cellphone on silent and put it down when driving. Texting or talking on your phone while driving can be deadly. If you need to make a call, you should pull over in a safe place to make your call. Cell phones are a leading cause of distracted driving, but they aren’t the only cause. Applying makeup, adjusting the radio, conversations with passengers, and any activity that distracts your attention from the road is dangerous. 

Consult an Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you should contact an experienced attorney to help. 

Saladino & Schaaf has decades of experience helping accident victims receive the compensation they deserve. Contact us for a free consultation or call us at 270-444-0406 or 270-753-1529 to find out if you are entitled to a settlement or other compensation.




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Teen Drivers Sitting on Car




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