Growing up, you can’t wait for that moment when you turn 16 and you’re able to get your driver’s license. Even better, you can’t wait to turn 15 and get your learner’s permit. You imagine the freedom of being able to drive yourself wherever you want to go. You imagine being able to drive around all of your friends and have a fun time out together.
But you need to realize that driving is a serious matter. It is not something that should be taken lightly. Here are a few things to consider when you start driving around town.
Cell Phone Activity: It Can Wait
Every year, 1 in 4 car crashes in America is caused by texting and driving. With so many things we can do on our phones these days–call, text, Tweet, check our e-mail, Snapchat–it is easy to see how this device can be a deadly distraction when you are behind the wheel. Avoid temptation and put your phone on airplane mode while you are driving. Or better yet, turn the whole thing off. Whatever you want to do, it can wait until you get to where you’re going.
Always Obey Traffic Laws
One of the reasons it can be important to take a driver’s ed class is because you want to know all of the traffic laws backwards and forwards. You need to know who goes first at a four-way stop. You need to know what to do at a broken traffic light. You need to know that pedestrians always have the right of way. There are a ton of other laws that you need to be familiar with before you get on the road. So make sure you prepare yourself.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Drinking and driving is a serious issue. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, every two minutes, someone is injured in a drunk driving car accident. As a teen, you should not be drinking, but if you have been drinking, you certainly shouldn’t drive. (If drinking is a problem for you, please consider getting help by finding an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting or calling an Alcohol Hotline for guidance.)
Driving should not be taken lightly. It is important that you learn to be a responsible driver. When you drive, you are putting your life in your own hands. When anyone gets in the car with you, you are putting their life in your hands. You want to show the world that you understand the weight of that and will treat it with respect.