3 Common Mistakes Teen Drivers Make
Getting a driver’s license is one of the most exhilarating, liberating experiences a teenager can have. For parents, however, it’s downright terrifying. While your teen has certainly earned their place on the road, there are a few things they need to watch out for. Make sure your new driver stays safe by teaching them about these common mistakes teen drivers make.
Overfilling Their Car
For many teenagers, the first thing they want to do when they get their license is to drive around with their friends. If your teen is the oldest in their friend group, they might find themselves as the group chauffeur for a while. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but it’s important that your teenager knows not to overcrowd their car. Too many passengers can be distracting, and they often cause teens to drive faster or more carelessly. Also, keep in mind that newly licensed teenagers often have restrictions on their licenses regarding passengers. In Michigan, a level two licensed driver can only drive with one underage passenger, excluding family members. Make sure your teenager knows the laws and responsibilities that come with driving passengers.
Ignoring Basic Safety
It’s easy to take your newfound freedom for granted. Once they get more comfortable on the road many teenagers tend to disregard basic safety rules such as wearing a seatbelt, minding the speed limit, and stopping completely at intersections. All of these are among the most common mistakes teen drivers make. Some of these behaviors may be due to peer pressure, but some of it might stem from laziness or carelessness. While habits like speeding or making rolling stops don’t always result in accidents, they build bad habits for new drivers that can have extreme consequences down the road.
Driving While Distracted
Teenagers are famously distracted—and for good reason. Between school, work, a social life, and an entire future to plan, they have a lot going on. However, it’s important they stay focused every second they’re behind the wheel. Distracted driving is one of the most common reckless driving behaviors, and it can have serious and dangerous consequences. Make sure your teen knows not to use their phone while driving. They should also avoid eating food, messing with their music, or doing anything else that would take their eyes off the road. Help your teen get into the habit of paying attention when they drive, and they will continue to be a safer driver for the rest of their life.