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Driving: From the Teen’s View

by Jacob P. | December 27th, 2013 | Safety, Teen Perspective, Teens

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALike most 17-year-olds, I have my driver’s license.  While this is not a big deal, it becomes one around this time of year.  This will be my second year as a licensed driver, but that makes the weather no less of a concern. With car accidents being the leading cause of death among teenagers, it’s obviously a major issue that needs addressing.

  • Try to follow laws.  I know this may seem trivial, but it’s very important.  The laws are intended to protect you and other drivers, not just to limit how much “fun” you can have while driving.  I also understand that you are going to break some laws (namely speed limits), but follow the majority of them, especially the important ones.  Stop at red lights and stop signs, use your turn signals, don’t drink and drive, etc.
  • If you are going to break laws, be reasonable.  I willingly admit that I speed on a regular basis.  I will do 5-15 miles per hour over the speed limit all of the time.  At the same time, I don’t go 20+ miles per hour over the speed limit ever.  That’s just asking to end up in a crash.  It’s one thing to do 45 in a 35 zone.  That’s still fairly safe.  On the other hand, doing 75 in a 35 zone is a good way to wrap your car around a telephone pole.
  • Don’t text and drive.  I know that this should be covered under the “laws” bullet, but it deserves its own.  I don’t care how important the message is, DO NOT DO IT.  This is asking to get killed or accidentally kill someone else.  No good can come of sending that message while you drive, but you can kill someone.  Also, if you aren’t smart enough to understand this, this also applies to social media, Snapchat, and all messaging services.  Even if it isn’t true texting, messaging is illegal.
  • Learn to judge road conditions.  This will come with time, but it’s critical that you judge the road and understand what speeds are safe and what speeds aren’t.  Otherwise, the risk of a crash is too great.  If you don’t think the roads are safe, slow down.  Better to be safe and slow than fast and sliding off the road.  As I know from personal experience,  road conditions can catch you completely off guard.
  • Know what to do once a crash happens.  If you’re involved in an auto accident, you need to know how to handle it.  This may seem like a common sense, but it truly matters.  To make it simple, you should assess your own injuries, get out of your car (if safe), call 911, assess the damage to your car, and then trade insurance information.  Notice that I didn’t say call 911 only if needed.  No matter what, I would call 911.  The worst possible scenario is that a police officer arrives and isn’t needed.  Oh well.  No one will blame you for playing it safe, so don’t worry.

As the ice and snow builds on the road, driving can become hazardous.  Thus, teenage drivers need to practice the utmost safety.  When in doubt, be careful and don’t be stupid!

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