Teens are at a major risk for distracted driving, with many of them getting behind the wheel for the first time in the winter season when driving conditions are often worse. Teens must learn how to operate a vehicle and handle different road conditions properly. Here are nine tips to help teens prevent distracted driving:
1. Teach respect for drivers
Teens need to respect and trust drivers when driving. If a driver does not obey the rules of the road, there is a higher risk of accidents. This will help teens properly gauge their driving skills and realize how important it is to pay attention.
2. Practice safe driving habits
When a teen is behind the wheel, they should be mindful of safety on the road. Practice safe driving habits, like not tailgating and looking ahead of the car in front of them while driving. This will help them to avoid accidents.
3. Get hands-on experience
Teens need to get their hands on a vehicle as soon as possible to get in the proper driving mindset. They should be able to drive everything from city streets, freeways, and country roads. Real-world experience is invaluable for teaching teens how to operate their vehicles, especially in winter driving conditions, properly.
4. Adapt to different road conditions
Some driving conditions may be more difficult for teens to adapt to. Drivers should practice handling extreme weather and other road conditions, such as ice. Driving during these conditions can be dangerous, and teens must gain experience in these states to know how to drive safely.
5. Establish the route in advance
Navigation is among the top dangers of distracted driving since it takes the driver’s eyes off the road and puts them at risk of being involved in a car accident. Plan the route before you start driving when going on a long trip. Knowing how to get to the final destination in advance will help drivers to pay more attention on the road and focus less on navigation.
6. Avoid eating while driving
Eating and driving can be a dangerous combination. When eating, teens should keep their hands on the wheel and focus on the road as they are backing up. They should also avoid stopping at fast food chains with an increased risk of accidents.
7. Establish a pre-trip checklist
Teen drivers should develop a pre-trip checklist to help keep them safe while driving. This will help them determine what they need to do before they leave the house and how they should prepare their vehicle. A checklist can also help teens focus on the road and not on their phones or other distractions.
8. Practice active maintenance
Teens should learn how to check the condition of their vehicles regularly. They should replace worn-out parts before driving and ensure everything is properly working. Taking a few minutes before driving to ensure your vehicle is reliable can save you from getting stranded on a long trip.
9. Turn off your phone
Turning off your phone is important when driving so you don’t become distracted from the road. Instead, you should focus your attention on the road when driving and make sure that you keep your eyes on the road instead of looking at your phone. Not only is it distracting to operate a cell phone while driving, but teen drivers can get in trouble with the law if caught.
Driving comes with a lot of risks, even for the most experienced of drivers. It’s important that teens follow all road rules, practice safe driving habits, and ensure their vehicle is in good condition before taking off on a long trip. These nine simple tips will help teens prevent distracted driving and stay safe on the road.