If you have a teenage child getting ready to start driving in 2022, or if you are a teenaged driver new to driving, you may have heard the statistics about teen accident rates and feel concerned about safety. An awareness of safety and an understanding of the need for attentiveness is a great place to start your driving career!
Driving is a skill that takes time and experience to master. But there are things you can do as a new driver to reduce the risk of car accidents:
- Always, always buckle up. Seat belts save lives and reduce the severity of injuries in the event of any type of crash. Always buckle up and demand all your passengers do as well, no matter which seat they are in.
- Be attentive. Don’t allow distractions. Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents across all age groups. With the commonplace presence of phones in our lives, it can be tempting to peek at a text or quickly send a reply while driving. Remind yourself to never do this because it’s dangerous and leads to crashes every day.
- Take a deep breath. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and it’s normal to be afraid of new situations as you learn to drive. Remember to take a deep breath, keep a level head, and let your parent or other adult in the vehicle with you know if you’re uncomfortable and need to pull over to gather yourself.
- Introduce new driving conditions gradually. Driving in the dark, driving on the interstate, driving in bad weather – these are all examples of added driving conditions on top of dry roads, slow speeds, and full daylight. Add them gradually as you gain confidence and experience.
- Don’t drive with too many passengers. Loading all your friends in the car can be really exciting, but it can increase the risk of a crash. More passengers cause more disruption and distraction. Try to take only one friend along at a time until you gain more experience.
- Never drive under the influence of any amount of alcohol or recreational drugs (and certain prescription drugs). Alcohol and drugs severely impact your ability to operate a motor vehicle, even in the tiniest amounts. Plus, you could be in criminal trouble if you’re pulled over by police. Drive sober, always.
While these measures cannot eliminate the risk of a crash, they are important driving habits that will serve you well throughout a lifetime of driving.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by someone else in Austin or the surrounding areas of Texas, please call the law firm of Shaw Cowart for a case review at 512-499-8900. We look forward to providing the clear and honest guidance you need in order to decide what to do next.