As a new driver, you have a lot of pressure to properly learn and develop a new skillset and avoid making mistakes. Getting behind the wheel is a great responsibility that comes with some potential risks. To avoid making common driving mistakes, it’s important to first know what types of driving mistakes teenagers are making every day.
Keeping your eyes on the road is the first step to driving safely and remaining alert. Eating while driving, changing the radio station, texting and answering a phone call are all examples of getting distracted and increasing your chances of getting in a car crash. Distractions prohibit your ability to respond appropriately to potential trouble on the road, so be sure to stay focused on your surroundings.
It’s important for a new teen driver to either drive with a parent or guardian, or alone. When they have teen passengers, the risk of causing a car crash increases. Having passengers in the car can lead to the first common mistake—distractions.
Tailgating is a term that refers to driving too closely to the car in front of you. Be sure to maintain a proper following distance of at least 3 seconds between you and the car driving ahead of you, especially when coming to a stop at a red light. When coming to a stop, in a line of traffic, make sure that you can see the back tires and a bit of pavement behind the car in front of you. Keeping a proper following distance is especially important when you’re driving at high speeds. As your speed increases, so should your following distance to account for the additional total stopping distance that will be required.
When you’re an inexperienced driver, you’re faced with several new and unfamiliar situations. Adding high speeds to the equation typically doesn’t end in a positive result. Reduce your speed and increase your awareness. It could mean the difference between avoiding a car crash or causing one.
Unfortunately, these are just a few of the most common driving mistakes that teenagers make when they first start driving. There are several others that all teen drivers and their parents should keep in mind when grabbing the car keys. It’s important to consistently review driving safety tips and keep them at the forefront of your mind while driving.