For teen drivers, learning to drive can be a fun experience, and getting a license is exhilarating, but it can also be a difficult time, as it always is when developing and fostering a new skill. During this learning period, to say teens are going to make mistakes is an understatement. At the same time, even the smallest of driving mistakes can lead to serious ramifications, including car accidents resulting in property damage, injury, or even death—all of which have consequences all their own. For that reason, it’s crucial that new drivers understand the kinds of driving errors they are more likely to make—that way they can avoid those errors altogether. So, let’s look at the driving mistakes teens are most likely to make.
It’s far tougher for inexperienced drivers to judge speed as well as the time and length required to stop. Even with sharp reflexes, a new driver’s sense of situations is not as established as with older drivers, and it only improves with time, practice, and special attention to posted traffic speed. As well, new drivers shouldn’t feel pressured to drive at the posted speed limits if they feel more comfortable driving slower than posted speeds.
There are plenty of distractions on the road, and they can prevent drivers from seeing easily avoidable dangers. Considering the leading cause of death among teens is distracted driving, it’s safe to say that focus is important. Whether it’s texting or talking on the phone, changing a radio station, or eating, distractions take a driver’s eyes and attention from the road. This means they can’t effectively scan the street, identify possible trouble early, or take necessary corrective measures.
Taking Needless Risks
Driving in a vehicle comes with inherent risks. Throw in poor choices like speeding through yellow lights or not stopping fully at stop signs, and the chances of a car wreck have increased greatly. For that reason, teen and other new drivers should avoid unnecessary risks, such as not checking blind spots or not using a turn signal, driving while distracted or intoxicated, and speeding excessively.
Not Keeping a Suitable Distance
As new drivers, teens tend to underestimate how much distance they need to stop in time. To remain safe, always maintain a proper distance from the vehicle ahead. Teens should also remember that the faster they’re driving, the more space they’ll need to brake.
Teens require more sleep than they likely realize—certainly more than many adults. However, a person’s schedule does not always respect that, so he or she may not get the rest the mind and body need. Drowsy driving is the result of this, and it leads to delayed reaction time, decreased awareness, and often results in car accidents. Drivers might feel alright to drive even when they aren’t, so another person ought to drive when the new driver is struggling to remain awake. For drivers who are alone, pull off to the side of the road and rest until it’s okay to drive rather than try to get home in one fell swoop.
Think you or someone you know is in need of Behind the Wheel Training? Training Wheels is a Brigantine driving school specializing in teaching new teen drivers how to stay safe on the road. For more information on our lessons, please click here.
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