In the state of Ohio, a greater number of teens are getting their driver’s licenses. This is an exciting time, especially when kids are heading back to school and off to extracurricular activities after class. Naturally, they’ll drive there, which means there are many more inexperienced drivers on the road.
The parent of a teen who recently got their driver’s license has every reason to worry. These kids are new drivers who lack the experience of seasoned drivers. Being on the road can pose many challenges, especially when someone is behind the wheel of a car or SUV.
It’s important to teach teen drivers how they can stay safe when driving. These are the best driving tips for teens behind the wheel:
- When you’re on your way to school in the morning, be aware of any school buses with flashing lights. It means there are probably children boarding or getting off the bus, and that you should stop your vehicle.
- Always get to school at least 5 to 10 minutes early so that you can make it to class in time for the first bell. If you and others are rushing around to get to school, there’s a good chance of chaos occurring in the parking lot.
- Avoid making left-hand turns on intersections that don’t have turn signals. Left turns can easily lead to accidents, especially for teen drivers who don’t yet have the experience to properly gauge oncoming traffic or speed.
- Keep in mind that, just because another driver may have their right turn signal on, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will make that turn. Avoid making assumptions about what other drivers are going to do because they are often unpredictable. The turn signal may be on mistakenly.
- Never compete with other drivers and stay out of the way of those who are aggressive behind the wheel. You may be tempted to beat someone who cut you off, but it’s better to stay safe than to get into an accident or have a road rage incident.
- Always be cautious when driving in the country because there are animals around. Travel slowly and put on your headlights at night. Be aware that hitting a deer can lead to significant damage to your car and that it can be deadly when you swerve.
- Note that deer usually walk in pairs or more. If you see one standing near or on the road, there are probably others nearby.
- Always buckle your seatbelt when you plan on driving, and ensure that all passengers do the same.
- Only have as many people in the car as there are seatbelts.
- Drive carefully, as though you own the car, even if it belongs to your parents.
- Avoid getting distracted by things like your cell phone, texting, loud music, or heavy conversations with passengers. Since you aren’t an experienced driver, you have more of a risk for getting into an accident when distracted.
- Keep the windshield clean so that you can easily see, especially during sunset or sunrise, when it’s generally more difficult to see.
- Don’t drink and/or do drugs and drive.
By practicing these simple and straightforward driving tips, newly-licensed Ohio teens can build a strong foundation of safe driving practices that protect themselves, their passengers, and others sharing the road with them.