Getting a driver’s license can be one of the most exciting events in a teenager’s life. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Here are a few safety tips from the Virginia car accident lawyer at Parrish Law Firm, PLLC for those brand new teen drivers looking to take advantage of our Virginia roads.
You Have Lives in Your Hands
Whether you’re driving your friends, family, or just yourself, remember that the lives of everyone in the vehicle reside in your hands.
- Don’t drive tired. Teens need more sleep than adults or younger kids, so make sure you’re getting 9 hours to be well rested and alert.
- Always wear your seatbelt and make sure everyone else in your vehicle does too. Don’t leave yourself and your friends needlessly vulnerable to injury.
- Don’t ever drink and drive. Virginia has a zero tolerance law for teens, and if you decide to have a drink and get behind the wheel anyway, you could face jail time, huge fines, and the loss of your license that you worked so hard to get.
- Don’t do drugs and drive. Drugs like marijuana and alcohol slow your reaction time and make you believe you’re driving well. Never mind drug use being illegal, remember that you can kill someone. Drive sober or don’t drive.
- Get rides with sober drivers. Whether it’s a taxicab or a friend’s car, ensure that someone sober is driving any vehicle you’re getting into. Fact: 48 percent of teens who are killed in accidents are passengers in the vehicle.
- Avoid tailgating. Ideally, there should be one car length for every 10 mph you’re driving (50 mph= 5 car lengths). You should leave more room when conditions are not ideal.
- Don’t drive distracted. If you’re friends want music let them set-up the IPod. Need directions? Ask them to set up the GPS for you. Keep your eyes on the road.
- Never text message while driving. It’s one of the easiest ways to increase your chances of getting into an accident.
- Drive the speed limit. Why waste your hard-earned money on traffic tickets?
- At night, drive with your headlights on. Make sure you can see and that other drivers can see you.
- Don’t let friends drive your car. They are probably not insured, which can lose you a lot of money if they crash.
- RELAX. Driving can be fun. Stay focused on the road and you’ll be just fine.