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Safe Driving Tips for Teens

May 12, 2001

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Here are 10 safe driving tips for teen-agers from Phil Berardelli, author of ``Safe Young Drivers: A Guide for Parents and Teens″:

1. Don’t drink or take drugs and drive. Too many teens think they can handle driving while impaired. They can’t.

2. Buckle up. A five-second good habit could prevent a trip to the emergency room _ or the morgue.

3. Turn in early. Most fatal crashes involving teens happen after 9 p.m. during the week, and after midnight on weekends.

4. Avoid a crowd. Risk of a fatal crash for teens doubles with two passengers. It doubles again with three.

5. Keep it cool. Don’t drive when you’re angry or upset. Strong emotions distract you.

6. Pump down the volume. Playing loud music while driving is also distracting. Also, avoid changing stations, tapes or CDs unless you’re stopped.

7. Know the (speed) limits. The maximum safe speed isn’t always the one on the sign. Slow down when it rains or snows, in the dark or fog, or if there’s heavy traffic.

8. Keep your distance. You need at least two seconds of stopping distance between you and the vehicle ahead. At 40 miles an hour, that’s about 60 feet more than three vehicle lengths.

9. Pass with care. The possibility of a head-on crash makes a two-lane highway the most dangerous place to drive.

10. Look where you’re going. Never move your vehicle into a spot that you haven’t cleared with your eyes first. Many crashes occur because someone wasn’t looking.

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