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Driving Safety: From a Teen’s Perspective

by Sam P. | May 16th, 2014 | Teen Perspective, Teens

driving-22959_640Everyday we hear from parents how dangerous driving is and how cautious we need to be.  And to be honest I agree wholeheartedly.  The chances of getting into a car accident increase dramatically just by speeding even 10 miles above the limit, and the same goes for distracted and drowsy driving.  Not only are you putting yourself in danger by driving recklessly, but also those around you and in the car with you.

For starters, try your best to drive the speed limit.  I understand wholeheartedly that driving faster is fun, but it also increases your chances of getting into a car accident by 30%.  One third of accidents are solely caused by speeding, and many others have speeding as a contributing factor. Though speeding may get you there faster, it isn’t worth the risk and chances are it’ll only shave five minutes tops off your trip time.  Also, speeding, especially at a young age, can get you pulled over.  Yes, you can usually get away with five over the speed limit, but that doesn’t mean you should do it.

Only allow as many people in the car as you have seat belts.  This seems to be a fading problem, but I still see it occur often.  If you got into an accident with too many people in the car, not only would you get into more trouble, the people not buckled have a greater chance of being injured.  A great example of this is my aunt; when she was 14 she got into a car with a group of friends.  Nobody had been drinking and the weather conditions were fair.  The only problem was that she didn’t have a seat belt because there were too many people in the car.  The driver was going slightly faster than he should have been and when they hit a corner they rolled and my aunt broke through the window and landed in the street.  She’s been in a  wheelchair ever since.

Don’t drive distracted.  Whether you’re texting or talking on the phone while you drive, or simply aren’t paying attention, it’s a recipe for disaster.  If you aren’t paying attention to the road you are far more likely to get into an accident than someone who is.  Just last summer my friend and I were waiting for the truck in front of us to turn at a stop.  We’d been sitting there for at least a minute when suddenly a car came flying up behind us and smashed right into us.  The kid was paying absolutely no attention and was most likely texting, because he told us and the cop two very different stories as to why he didn’t see us.

Lastly, don’t drive tired.  Your reaction times will be slower.  If you’re tired at all, pull over and drink a caffeinated beverage.  Allow at least 20 minutes for it to kick in before driving again.  If necessary take a nap while waiting for the caffeine to jump into action.  Chances are when you get back on the road you’ll be much more alert than before.

Just remember that driving is a privilege and it should not be taken for granted.

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