A Short Owner’s Manual for Teenage Drivers

As a teenage driver, you can’t possibly be expected to know all there is to know about cars, how to avoid accidents, what you might need to keep in your car, or how to avoid security risks.

The following will give you some starting points and you can use them as conversation starters with your friends or parents, on how to stay safe and keep your car in good condition.

Car maintenance and basic repairs

Don’t risk Murphy’s Law of driving which would state that you are bound to break down where and when you would least want to. Make a point of conducting routine car maintenance on a particular day of the week, and know how to perform basic repairs.

A Short Owner’s Manual for Teenage Drivers Mobile phone use

It seems like such a no-brainer, given all the news reports of devastating accidents that occur as the result of using a mobile phone when driving. Teenage drivers need to know that texting while driving a car can be extremely dangerous. Here are some tips.

Defensive driving

Some schools now offer Driver Ed as a subject. Whether yours does or doesn’t, you can still opt to enrol in a defensive driving course in your city or town. You’ll learn vehicle familiarisation, how to control your car and avoid collisions, emergency braking, corner wet braking and more.

The courses usually include demonstrations and theory and practical components. Investing in this kind of education could save one or more lives, and it could be yours.

Driving tired and under the influence

Driving while tired or when under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other substances is a recipe for disaster, even for drivers who have decades of experience behind the wheel. There is never a good reason to do so and the penalties can be severe. It is always best to arrange alternative transportation and go back and pick up your car the next day.

Take a taxi or an Uber, have your parents pick you up or ask a friend or their parent to drive you home. Being late for work or a date, not wanting to miss an exciting event or simply wanting to get home are not excuses for driving when you shouldn’t.

Driving with passengers in the car

It’s exciting to be able to drive your friends and family members around. That sense of independence is quite thrilling, but it’s also important to remember that while you’re trying to concentrate, others may be concerned with their own moods, activities or need to get somewhere in a hurry.

Teenage drivers are more inclined to show off, speed to make an important arrival time or carry more passengers than the car is legally permitted to carry. You have a long life ahead of you; don’t risk a minute of it on trying to save time, win fans or be helpful.

Important things to carry in your car

When you first get your car, you want to personalise it with seat covers, maybe some LED lighting, some decals or a new sound system. But there are other items that, if you don’t have them, you might wish one day that you’d thought to include them.

There are bound to be other items that you’ll think of as you start driving and need them. Also, don’t forget to check that your spare tyre and jack are in the boot.

Security in car parks and other public places

Being a teenage driver – or any age, for that matter – means also being vigilant about your safety and security when out of your car.

Show the community they’re wrong about teenage drivers

Justifiably or not, many in the community complain about the behaviour of teenage drivers on the roads. Be the driver that proves them wrong while also setting an example to your friends.

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