One of the most exhilarating events in a teenager’s life is obtaining a driver’s license. But for parents, this milestone is fraught with emotion, as teenagers have a higher than likely risk of auto accidents. Their inexperience can lead to a number of common driving mistakes, which we’ve highlighted below.
Make sure you talk to your AAA agent before your teen starts driving to ensure you have modified your insurance appropriately. Then talk through these common mistakes with your teen before they get in the driver’s seat.
Speeding. Obey all posted speed limits, and, unless you’re on the interstate, consider driving below the posted speed limit until you’re fully comfortable behind the wheel.
Distracted driving. Put the cellphone out of reach, and keep your hands off the radio dial. Your hands should be on the steering wheel and your eyes should be on the road—this point cannot be overstated. Even having someone in the passenger seat can serve as a distraction, which brings us to the next point.
Teen passengers. Studies show that teen passengers increase the risk of accidents, as they cause distractions and can encourage you to drive more aggressively than you should. Avoid driving your friends around, at least initially, and follow your parents’ rules about who can be a passenger in your car.
Errors in judgement. This is a catch-all category that covers a wide range of issues, but it essentially means you should use good judgement in all things driving-related. Don’t drive while you’re tired or are in unfamiliar areas. Obviously, you should never drink and drive, and always wear your seat belt. Ultimately, if you apply a sense of caution to all your driving tactics, you’re more likely to enjoy many, many years of safe driving.