5 mistakes college teen drivers should avoid

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Article by: Sally Writes 

As a teen driver in college with your newly found independence, you probably think that you are free to drive your wheels as you please. Wrong. Driving a car entails responsibilities and there are things that you should follow when on the road. CDC stats show that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among American teenagers. In 2015, 6 teens (16-19 years) died everyday from injuries sustained in car accidents. The reasons behind these fatalities are several including speeding, distracted driving, poorly maintained vehicles and failure to wear a seatbelt.

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Speeding

It is so easy to put your foot on the gas pedal and zoom past other cars. However, everyone knows that speed kills and even seasoned drivers who know their way around a car can cause an accident because of speeding. The faster you drive, the harder it is to brake. Even if you have sharp reflexes, you do not have enough experience to estimate the braking distance. Disregarding speed limits is not only breaking the law but also seriously compromises your safety and that of other motorists when crashes and collisions occur. Listen to your parents and remember to practice responsible driving.

Distracted Driving

It might be easy for you to multitask while on the road – driving, texting or even checking your emails. But, every time you take your eyes off the road, it is an invitation for an accident to happen. You might lose control of the car, miss people crossing a street or an animal that just darted in front of you. If you have passengers with you, make sure to tell them to avoid talking to you or that they are distracting.

Seatbelts

The seat belt is there for a reason – to keep you in your seats, protect you and passengers from getting seriously hurt when there is a crash. This should be the first thing you do when you get inside a car and ensure that all your passengers are buckled up. Seriously, wearing belts saves lives and shields you and others from injuries.

Lending Your Ride

There will come a time when a friend will ask to borrow your car. Don’t do this. If something happens (loss of life or damage to property), insurance will run after you if it is in your name or your parents, which is often the case. Premiums and deductibles will rise.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

It is your responsibility to keep your car in good driving condition. A vehicle which is poorly maintained can compromise your safety whether you have old tires or leaking engine oil. Make sure to clean cars, rotate tires, check tire pressure, brakes, battery and service the vehicle at recommended periods.

College is a great time for students and you can make your life in school pleasant if you remember to stick to these important pointers. Obey traffic laws and keep your car in good condition for a safe ride while in college.