In our teens and early 20s we’re likely to be in the best shape of our lives, have the sharpest vision and the quickest reflexes. But this doesn’t mean we’re the best drivers; in fact we’re also three times more likely than any other age group to get in a serious accident. Three times. Fortunately, there are a lot of simple steps we can take to make sure that doesn’t happen to us or the other new drivers in our lives.
Staying focused is the most important part of safe driving. If it seems simple that’s because it is. The excitement newer drivers have may cause them to forget the safe driving rules they’ve been taught. Scan the road ahead. Keep the vehicle stereo quiet enough to hear the sounds of traffic, allowing you to hear potential dangers before they become real ones.
Put that cellphone on lockdown. Texting while driving makes an accident up to 23 times more likely, so make sure your eyes stay on the road.* Even talking on the phone has been shown to cause an increase in accidents, as drivers become more focused on their conversation than their surroundings. So turn your phone off while you’re driving, enjoy the trip and get to your destination safely. Pull over to the side of the road if you have to make or take an important call.
Visiting drive-through restaurants may be a tradition, but remember that eating is also a distraction while driving. Taking your eyes off the road for even a moment to search for that french fry in the bottom of the bag can lead to an accident. Stay safe by waiting to eat when you’re safely parked or have already arrived at your destination.