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Teen Driving Safety Tips

youngdriversmWhether you’ve been driving for a while or are just getting ready to hit the road, take some time to review these safe driving tips to insure a safe trip.
Calls and Texting Can Wait!
There is a reason why 32 states and D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice drivers. Studies show that talking on a cell phone while driving is the equivalent of driving drunk―that’s even when using a hands-free phone. Drivers using hand held devices are 4 times more likely to be involved in an accident serious enough to sustain injuries.
Additionally, texting while driving, for drivers of all ages, is entirely illegal in all but very few states. Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. The average text causes a loss of focus on the road for five seconds – those seconds can mean life or death. And while it may be tempting to use the “texting-while-stopped” approach, it is equally illegal. When your head is down, key developments may occur, even when you’re stopped at a red light.
Minimize Other Distractions
While it may be seem harmless to eat, drink, adjust the radio station and/or play music loudly while you’re driving, all of these can cause your eyes, and your mind, to wander. Those few seconds can be enough for an inexperienced driver to lose control of a vehicle, or not notice an obstruction in the road.
Use Your Headlights – Even During Daylight Hours
Statistics show that headlight use during the daytime results in a significant reduction in the incidents of motor vehicle crashes. A car with its headlights on is more visible during the day, even with the sun is behind it. Additionally, other drivers are much less likely to attempt to pass when they see lights indicating a car in an oncoming lane.  Other cars are also less likely to pull out in front of a light-identified car. The added visibility of the headlights acts as a protective buffer.
Drive Solo 
While it may be one of the biggest fears for parents to allow a teen to drive alone, a recent study by AAA found that the risk of a teen dying in a motor vehicle accident increases by 44{babbc178be77080b85919e01e8fc05e4d4cf13798276bf03760b167f5df6e3dc} when there is another teen passenger in the car. Alarmingly, that percentage quadruples with three or more passengers younger than 21.
Observe the Speed Limit
Forty percent of all fatal teen accidents are caused by speeding. That’s especially true when driving in high-traffic areas or on roads you’re not familiar with.
Even if it seems like the other cars are flying by, don’t give in to the pressure to keep up with traffic.  Maintaining a safe speed not only ensures your safety, but it also prevents you from incurring costly traffic tickets that translate into a steep rise in your auto insurance premiums.
Practice Defensive Driving 
Stay alert to the traffic ahead, behind, and next to you, and have possible escape routes in mind if something unexpected should happen. Keep at least one car length behind the car in front of you at slower speeds, and add another car length for every 10mph increase in speed.
Drive a Safe Vehicle
If possible, drive a car with state-of-the-art safety features such electronic stability control, curtain air bags and anti-lock brakes. A superior crash safety record is critical in the event impact does occur.