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8 Defensive Driving Tips for Teen Drivers

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Defensive Driving Tips for Teen Drivers

Getting your hands on the keys to your first car is exciting. However, take it easy because young, inexperienced drivers are far more likely to have an accident than older, experienced car drivers.

Sadly, auto accidents are one of the most common causes of teenage deaths. So, it would be wise to take it easy while you gain some driving experience.

It is not only driver inexperience that causes teen car accidents. Unfortunately, young drivers also need to be aware that there are many inconsiderate and dangerous drivers on the road. The best way to avoid the drivers that pose a risk to you is to drive defensively.

What is Defensive Driving?

Defensive driving is driving in a manner that uses safe driving strategies to predict and avoid hazards. The method of driving is more than following traffic laws and protocols. Defensive driving is about spotting danger and then avoiding it.

If you take a defensive driving course, it will help keep you safe on the roads, and it could reduce your motor insurance premiums. Here are eight essential tips that will help you become a defensive driver.

1. Stay Alert

The first defensive driving tip for teen drivers is never to drive when you feel drowsy or are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This tip applies to prescription drugs, as well as recreational ones. Your reaction time is crucial for your safety when driving. You need to be able to take evasive action fast. So, you need to be fully alert when you are behind the wheel of a car, and that will not be the case if you are feeling sleepy. Drugs and alcohol may also impair your judgment and make you take more risks. The golden rule is never to get behind the wheel if you have been drinking or don’t feel 100%.

2. Stay Focussed

There are many things to think about when you are driving. You must look at road signs, be alert to danger, safely navigate your way through traffic, and more. So, it would help if you had your mind focused on the task. In time, driving will become second nature. But, when you first start driving, you must put more thought into what you are doing. So, you will need to be extra careful and focus only on driving your vehicle safely.

3. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Kids can run out into the road, cars can pull out in front of you, and the vehicle in front might stop suddenly. A crucial part of defensive driving is anticipating dangers like these. If you are aware of what is going on around you, you will be better able to steer clear of trouble. For example, if you see a car ahead being driven erratically, you can pull back to give it some extra room. If you spot some children walking on the sidewalk, you can keep one eye on them in case they step into the road. And don’t forget to regularly check your mirror to see what is going on behind you.

4. Don’t Anticipate Other Drivers’ Actions

It is best not to anticipate other driver’s actions. For example, don’t assume that a driver will leave space for you to merge, and don’t take it for granted that another driver will make a turn if their turn signal is flashing. It is not wise to assume that drivers will stop at a stop sign because some motorists do not follow the rules. When you drive a car, the best thing to do is expect the unexpected and operate your vehicle in a manner that allows for the worst-case scenario.

5. Look for Escape Routes

It would be best always to position your vehicle with an escape route in mind if something unexpected happens. For example, don’t drive so close to the car in front that you don’t have enough room to stop if it stops suddenly. And look for a path that you could take to go around an unexpected obstacle in the road. Defensive driving is all about being alert to the dangers and having a plan to avoid them.

6. Drive Predictably

Try to avoid doing anything unpredictable when you are driving. Always use your turn signals when turning, and avoid any sudden braking. If you are about to miss your turn, for example, don’t brake suddenly and swerve into the intersection. Keep going, turn around when it is safe to do so, and go back to the turn you missed. Some drivers will anticipate what you are about to do next. So it is best not to give other drivers any surprises because they may not be paying full attention.

7. Keep Your Distance

Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. In normal weather conditions, you should keep a 4-second distance behind other cars. Keeping your distance from the car in front will ensure that you maintain sufficient stopping distance. Winter driving and driving at night requires extra care. If the weather conditions are poor or you are driving at night, you should increase this distance.

8. Always Put Safety First

Above all else, the best way to stay safe when driving is to put safety first. Leave space between you and the vehicle in front, be aware of your surroundings, and always have an escape route planned. And, of course, don’t be an aggressive driver. Remember to buckle up before you set out, too, and make sure your passengers behave in your car and don’t distract you. And remember, It’s better to get to your destination ten minutes late than not to get there at all.

Further Reading:
The Driving Book: Everything New Drivers Need to Know but Don't Know to Ask
7,066 Reviews
The Driving Book: Everything New Drivers Need to Know but Don't Know to Ask
  • Gravelle, Karen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages - 02/10/2015 (Publication Date) - Bloomsbury USA Childrens (Publisher)

Last update on 2021-09-12 Source: Amazon Product Advertising API

Header image by bobtheskater from Pixabay.


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