Getting your license can be an exciting time for anyone. However, if the proper safety precautions aren’t taken, your first time out on the road could be your last. Teen drivers ages 16-19 are three times more likely than drivers ages 20 and older to be involved in a fatal crash. As a new driver, or as the parent of a new driver, teach your kids to follow these simple tips to keep them safe on our roadways. Here are some basic safety tips that new and seasoned drivers should know:
- Always Buckle Up. It’s the law and it could save your life.
- Obey Speed Limits. Going too fast doesn’t allow for a lot of time to stop and react to an event. Speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents involving teenagers.
- Keep Two Hands on The Wheel. This will give you a lot more control if you are involved in an accident.
- Consider Other Drivers Around You. Don’t weave in and out of traffic. Not only will you get pulled over for reckless driving, but you might seriously injure yourself or others.
- Never Assume Another Car Sees You. If you think you’re in someone’s blind spot, try and get out of it. Chances are the driver doesn’t know you’re there if you are in his/her blind spot. Never think that other drivers will assume you are going to change lanes. Always use your turn signal.
- Know The Meanings of All Traffic Signals. Learn all traffic signals and signs. Be aware of school buses and know when to stop for children crossing. When you see a school bus with flashing lights and their stop sign has been extended, this means that children are either getting on or off the bus. Even if you are in the oncoming lane, you must stop before the bus.
Night Driving & Bad Weather:
- When Driving at Night, Be Aware of Animals and Other Vehicles. When driving at night, it is important to always be aware of deer and other animals that tend to dart out into the roads. Also, some cars may fail to turn their headlights on, therefore making it difficult to see oncoming traffic. Be aware at all times and limit any distractions.
- Drive Slowly in Bad Weather Conditions. If the weather is poor, take it slow. It’s better to be safe and late than sorry.
- Turn Your Headlights on in Bad Weather. Whether rain or snow, turn your headlights on, especially if you are using your wipers.
Speeding & Passing:
- Leave Plenty of Room When Passing Another Car. When you are about to pass a car on the right of you, make sure you can see the front of their car in your rear view mirror before you make the attempt into the right lane. This will ensure you are leaving plenty of space between you and the other vehicle.
- Never Play Speeding Games with Your Friends. It’s not cool and a lot of fatalities have occurred because of these reckless drivers.
- Slow Down for Road Work and Construction. You don’t know what exactly is ahead of you if you are about to enter a construction zone. You may be faced with extremely narrow lanes, windy turns and/or workers on the sides of the road. If the speed limit signs reduce speed to 45, obey them. They’re there for a reason.
How To Avoid an Accident:
- Never EVER Text & Drive. It is not only illegal in New York State, but it can also be fatal and life changing. You are 24 times more likely to be involved in a crash if you are texting and driving. Texting and driving is the equivalent to having had 4 beers. Recent studies have proven that even hands-free devices pose a hazard to drivers and could cause serious and fatal accidents. Avoid being distracted by your phone at all costs. Place the device in your glove compartment or the backseat so you won’t be tempted to check it. Texting and driving violations have increased from 3 to 5 points on your license in New York State. Read more about it on our blog.
- Never EVER Drink & Drive. Driving under the influence of any drug, not just including alcohol, is illegal and could cause a serious accident and even death. Arrange for someone to pick you up or a designate a driver who will not drink at all that night. Driving under the influence could ruin your life or someone else’s.
- Avoid/Ignore All Distractions. This includes makeup, food, cell phones, media players, friends in the backseat, and playing with the radio station. Keep your eyes and mind on the road. Even conversing with a friend next to you can be a mental distraction.
- Avoid Fatigue. Drowsiness can occur immediately. If you feel yourself getting tired and your eyes closing, pull over at the nearest rest stop or any safe spot for stopping and take as long as you need to rest and close your eyes.
What To Do If You Get Into an Accident.
- Stay Calm & Call 911 if Necessary. Don’t panic. Wait for authorities to get there and don’t move any vehicles until photos have been taken.
- Record The Incident for Insurance Purposes. We developed the free app, Car Accident ToolKit by F & P, to help you through an auto accident situation. The app can assist you in accurately recording all the necessary information at the scene of the accident. Download the app here!
- Collect the Other Drivers Information. Get their insurance, license plate number, name and phone number.
- Call Your Insurance Agent.
We remind you to always be a cautious driver and to keep our roadways safe. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, we can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free case appraisal today and fill out our free evaluation form.
Mr. Finkelstein is the Managing Partner of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. He has become a noted consumer activist through his representation of injured individuals against corporate wrongdoers and irresponsible parties.
An accomplished litigator, Mr. Finkelstein has represented Plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has successfully handled dozens of multi-million dollar cases.