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Safety Tips for Young Drivers

1. Use Your Cell Phone "Hands Free"

Most U.S. states prohibit drivers from using a hand held cell phone while operating a vehicle, and with good reason. Studies suggest that using a cell phone while driving is equal to driving drunk.

These infractions accompany fines, driver violation points, or both. Many times, these penalties are stricter for younger drivers.

2. Don't Text

Research shows texting can cause a loss of focus on the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. If driving an average speed of 55 MPH, you can drive across an entire football field in that time. A lot can go wrong while you drive that distance without your eyes on the road.

It’s not always safe to pull over and text either, as many states ban texting while behind the wheel. When you have your head down, you won't notice key developments that may occur. Make sure, if you must text, to pull off the road entirely, in a safe area.

3. Turn on Your Headlights

Using your headlights increases your visibility on the road and helps other drivers see you, even when you feel like there is enough light.

Make sure to use your lights or other drivers might not see you, which can be disastrous.

4. Obey the Speed Limit

Speeding is a major contributor to fatal teen accidents. That's especially true when driving on roads with lots of traffic or with which you're not familiar.

Don't feel pressured to keep up with other fast cars. Driving a safe speed helps ensure your safety, and keeps you away from costly traffic tickets that can increase your insurance rates.

5. Minimize Distractions

It may be tempting to eat, drink, or play music loudly while you're cruising around town. However, all these distractions can cause interference, even for a few seconds.

As an inexperienced driver, you are more likely to lose control of your car. Distractions can significantly decrease the ability to recognize impending danger, or control the vehicle.

6. Practice Defensive Driving

Always be aware of cars ahead, behind, and next to you, and have possible escape routes in mind. Stay at least one car length behind the car in front of you in slower speeds, and maintain a larger buffer zone with faster speeds.

Most car insurance companies will even give you a discount if you take an approved defensive driving course to improve your driving skills.

7. Choose a Safe Car

If possible, drive a safe car with the latest safety equipment (such as anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and air bags), and one with an excellent crash safety record. Review crash test ratings for most vehicles, right here on our website.

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