All your hard work paid off and now you finally have your driver’s license. Hours in the car with Dad gripping his seat and days spent in driver’s ed were worth it because the keys are now in your hands. You can feel the freedom, independence and excitement. But the look in Dad’s eyes as he handed over the keys make it clear that driving comes with added responsibility. Here are things to keep in mind to make sure your driving experience is safe and fun.
STAY SAFE ON THE ROAD
Your choices when driving may affect yourself and others.
- Never use alcohol or drugs when you know you will be getting behind the wheel of a car.
- Make sure every passenger in your car is using a seatbelt. Follow any restrictions your state may have on the number of passengers allowed depending on the driver’s age.
- Be aware of other drivers around you, and drive defensively by anticipating the actions of other drivers.
- Concentrate on your driving and keep distractions to a minimum. Turn the radio down, don’t use your phone while driving and never text and drive.
- Learn what to do in an event of an accident or breakdown. Know who to call and what resources you need. Program emergency numbers and contacts into your phone.
- Keep your registration and proof of insurance information in the car.
BEING SAFE SAVES MONEY
Driving responsibly increases your safety and the safety of other motorists. Follow these guidelines to keep your insurance premiums as low as possible:
- Obey all traffic laws. Getting a ticket may increase the amount of your insurance payments.
- Avoid situations that may lead to accidents. Involvement in just one accident could increase your cost of insurance.
- Consider choosing higher physical damage coverage deductibles.
- Drive a standard vehicle. Sports cars and high-performance vehicles may be cool, but those vehicles mean higher insurance costs.
CREATE A WRITTEN AGREEMENT WITH YOUR PARENTS
All the above tips may seem like common sense, but they are important to remember and to be reminded of often. One way to have a great driving experience is to create a written agreement with your parents and establish rules. A written agreement can help keep you and your parents on the same page.
- How many passengers are permitted in your car?
- Can you listen to the radio?
- Do you need to be home by a certain time?
- You can download a sample contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Getting your driver’s license is exciting! But to keep the keys and be a responsible driver, develop good driving habits that will stay with you forever. Have fun and stay safe!
This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article.