Being a new driver and owning your first car can be exciting times. There is the joy of being behind the wheel and the freedom that it entails. However, driving is a privilege, and it must be done responsibly. The road is not a place to play. It’s not a place to show off. It’s not a place to be both arrogant and ignorant. It can be a dangerous place, especially for new drivers.
Most parents fear the inevitable: letting their children get behind the wheel. It is a rite of passage for most, a sign of entering adulthood. However, many young drivers die in vehicular car crashes. In 2016, more than 2,000 teens from age 16-19 were killed in car crashes. It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Fortunately, car crashes are preventable, even with new drivers.
7 New Driver Mistakes to Avoid to Save Lives
Knowing the leading causes of vehicular accidents in new drivers can help. Here are the top common mistakes that most new drivers commit, which may lead to a road accident,
- Speeding recklessly
Speeding is the top most common mistake committed by new drivers. New drivers often have difficulty in getting a feel of how fast they are going. They sometimes think that are still within the speed limit, until they glance at the speedometer.
There is also the excitement of being behind the wheels that sometimes cloud their judgment. New drivers also have the difficulty of assessing how long it will take for their vehicle to fully stop when the driver in front of them suddenly steps on the brake.
- Texting while driving
Using the phone while driving is something that even long-time drivers commit. Even the quickest of glances, when your attention is off the road, can be costly.
Anything can happen in those few seconds that you steal a quick glance at your friend’s SMS. A child can run after a ball in front of you, or a car can quickly cut in front of you. Remember that driving needs all our senses. Distracted driving has caused 3,166 deaths in 2017. The government has been trying its best to reduce this reckless behavior in drivers, old and new.
- Driving impulsively
New drivers, especially teenagers, are more impulsive than their adult counterparts. Impulsive behavior is dangerous, especially in driving. Impulsive driving behaviors include stepping on the gas at a yellow light, changing lanes without turning on your signals, and completely ignoring traffic signs.
- Not paying attention to the road
Doing other activities while driving is a recipe for disaster. It can be as simple as sipping your iced coffee, taking a bite off your Subway, or chatting with a friend. Being a new driver, you should be extra-cautious with everything around you. Pay close attention to your surroundings, especially when making a turn, changing lanes, and approaching an intersection.
- Not wearing a seat belt / improper wearing of a seat belt
The seat belt is there for a reason. Not wearing a seat belt while driving is against the law. Not only that, it can result in severe injuries or death in the event of a crash. In 2017, 47% of the 37,133 people that died in a vehicular accident were not wearing seat belts. Wearing your seat belt can save your life. It is just as simple as buckling up properly.
- Not adjusting to different weather conditions
A change in the weather condition warrants a change in your driving behavior. Approximately 21% of car crashes in a year are weather-related. Newer vehicle models come equipped with features such as anti-lock braking systems, vehicle stability assist, and other safety features. However, drivers should still take caution, especially in extreme weather conditions.
Inclement weather conditions require a different driving skill set. Most new drivers don’t change their driving style with the weather. They learn too late sometimes that driving on a summer day is very different from driving during a stormy day.
- Following in their parents’ footsteps
Most drivers have their parents as their first driving instructors. If the parent does not follow traffic rules and regulations, chances are, the child won’t too. One of the costly mistakes that new drivers commit is to follow in their parents’ driving style. It can have harmful consequences once these children drive in the real world.
Call The Clark Law Office for Vehicular Accident-Related Injuries
If you or a family member have been involved in a car crash, seek legal help right away. A Michigan personal injury lawyer can help you build your case and your claim for financial support. Call us now for a free legal consultation.