Learning to drive is an exciting time for teenagers and their parents because of the freedom and new sense of independence that it provides. But it also carries risks. Young people between ages 15 and 24 have the highest rate of auto-related deaths, with teenage boys at the highest risk. Be sure to follow driving laws carefully and stay alert on the road at all times.

Sleep early, drive early

Are you a teen who likes to stay up late—playing video games, texting or browsing?  If so, chances are you will feel a bit groggy or tired the next morning before school. This may not concern you at first, but feeling groggy and tired becomes a hazard when you have to drive that morning. Both will impede your reaction time and ability to stay alert on the road.  

Make sure you get enough sleep at least for those nights when you’re required to drive early the next day. A great tip is to put away your phone at least an hour before sleeping to fall asleep faster. Alternatively, if you’re already on the road and feel tired, pull over in a safe, protected location to rest for 15-20 minutes. Drink some water or fresh juice and wait until you feel alert enough to drive again.

Seat Belts

This is Driving Safety 1010, but wearing your seat belt every time you get into the car is absolutely essential. You can’t miss this! Make sure you and all your passengers buckle up.

No phones during driving

Yes, while sending out driving snaps to all yours snapchat friends can be tempting, you should avoid using your phone. Doesn’t matter what for, texting, fiddling with the radio, eating, drinking, putting on makeup. They can all take your focus off the road.

Support Safe Driving

Lastly, join—or better yet, start a safe driving club at your school.  Share these driving tips with your family and friends. Create a mental checklist to ensure that your journey is safe, for the benefit of everyone on the road.