Learning to drive properly gives most people a great sense of freedom and power. But like Spiderman said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” When you drive, you are responsible for not just yourself and your passengers, but for others on the road as well. A tiny mistake on your part can cause a major accident or injury to drivers around you, especially when you’re not experienced enough. This, however, shouldn’t deter anybody from getting behind the wheels as driving has become an essential life skill in the 21st century, needed by the young, old, disabled, men and women all alike.
If you know some teenager who has successfully completed the road test, then you certainly want that dear person to be safe on the road. You also want this young person to enjoy driving, be less tense than most other new drivers. The advice of an experienced driver will surely help a lot. In addition to the tips, be sure to find the most useful gift for the new driver. If you do not have ideas about what thing to get someone who just got their license, get the help of a gift ideas site like GiftLightBulbs.com to help you to make the decision more easily.
This road safety guide for your new teen driver can greatly reduce the chance of a car accident.
Let the teenagers be safe on the road by following these useful tips and products for new drivers that can enhance and fine-tune their driving:
Take proper driver’s education
While this is the basic qualification needed to drive on roads anywhere, many people skip this step. In some countries, eager drivers who want a quick license bribe their driving teachers to speed up the process. This deters them from learning the correct rules and methods needed to drive safely. If that isn’t enough, you can also lower your car insurance if you have taken proper Driver’s Ed.
Avoid distractions while driving
By distractions, we mean lots of things – music, phones, talking too much, fidgeting with coins or sunglasses, etc. A 2-second distraction on the road can cause a nasty accident which can cost someone their life. So be aware of things that can distract you and counter them like this:
- Avoid playing music if it distracts you. Know beforehand by practicing if a certain type of music is more or less distracting.
- Change your radio stations when the car is parked or at signals. When you lean over, you can cause the steering to move, and hence, the car can change direction slightly, resulting in road accidents.
- Use mini storage and organizers to keep your belongings nearby. Anti-slip dash pads are now becoming common for keeping essentials like coins, wallets and phones stuck onto them without unnecessary slipping hassles.
- Turning back and talking to passengers can also take your eyes off the road. Whenever possible, skip discussing important issues in the car when your mind has many things to concentrate on.
- Do not eat in the car. Whenever possible, pull over or ask someone in your passenger seat to feed you.
Do not tailgate
Perhaps one of the most important rules of driving is to avoid tailgating. There are so many ways tailgating can go wrong. And it’s too risky even for an experienced driver. Keep a distance of at least 2 cars between you and the vehicle in front at all times. Remember that icy bridges and snow-covered roads need greater gaps.
Watch your blind spot
Blind spots are particularly precarious zones. You need to shoot a real quick look over your shoulders every time you merge or move your car onto the road to be 100% sure you are safe. This becomes a challenge with cars with raised height. Low rise cars like convertibles and two-wheelers often do not come in the range of sight for these cars. Counter this problem by using a blind spot mirror. They are cheap, easy to fix and save money, time and human life.
Another issue that has led to strain while driving is excess glare from sunlight and cars on the road. Use a good pair of polarized sunglasses to block out glare while driving from 10 am to 4 pm. Window tints also help cut out excess light, while giving you privacy as well.
Did you know that your rear view mirror has two different modes – one for day and the other for the night? There’s a lever underneath the mirror which can be adjusted to cut out heavy glare when driving at night. This reduces strain to the eyes and hence, allows for safer driving.
The driver state of mind
Being a good driver needs patience, diligence and practice. Young drivers, especially teens, account for 25% of all driving accidents because they drive more rashly and make decisions without thinking. A couple of things you could do to keep your mind active and fresh are:
- Avoid driving when angry or irritated. Excess emotion can hamper judgment. For some people, using a scented car spray or playing relaxing music in apps like Calm can soothe nerves.
- Make sure you are comfortable in your seat when driving. Constantly adjusting seat and steering height, squirming around or shifting position can prove negative when driving on highways. Use a comfortable travel pillow or car seat raiser to counter these issues.
- Be well rested before driving. If you are sleepy, consider stopping over and taking a short power nap before resuming your journey. Chewing gum, drinking strong coffee or Coke, or even leaving your windows open so that fresh air can hit your face can widely counter this problem. You can play loud music as well to drive your sleep away.
- Be a defensive driver. Drive like you own your car, not the road.
Using a good GPS system like Garmin to navigate your car in places of limited internet connectivity is a wise decision. Position your GPS device at eye level without blocking any other car controls. If you are using Google Maps or Waze, consider using a phone holder to position it properly on your dashboard or AC vent. Alternatively, you can cast it the screen on your dash as well, if your car has that feature.
Using Bluetooth effectively
These days, most cars come equipped with Bluetooth facility which allows you to answer calls without using your phone. While this is better than texting and driving, we suggest using this sparingly. Bluetooth headsets should also be avoided as it still violates the mobile phone use laws.
Fasten luggage properly
Loose luggage and grocery bags sliding around erratically in your trunk can hinder sight and also be distracting while dirtying your car’s interior. Fasten them up by using expandable pocket meshes, buckles or retractable hooks. These are easily available online and in many department stores as well.
Take care of your car
Remember that you and your car, both should be in perfect condition to ensure a safe ride. How can you do this? Perform all checkups periodically, tune your car’s controls, check tire pressure, coolant and brake fluid levels, change oils when needed and always carry a car emergency kit. These kits can be found in any hardware stores, auto shops, department stores or on the internet. They consist of spare tools, battery starters, pressure checkers, flat tire fixers and other essentials needed for breakdowns or potential accidents. Also, install your car manufacturer’s app and keep their roadside assistance numbers handy, not just on your phone, but on a physical piece of paper as well.
These useful tips and products for new drivers can help you to make the best of your driving experience – for yourself, your passengers and for those around you. With these thoughts in mind, we wish all teens happy driving in the days and years to come!