Teens New Year Resolutions to be a Safer Driver
December 29, 2010
When ringing in the New Year, millions of people decide to make what has become to be known as New Year’s resolutions. Many people will make a commitment to losing weight, to quit smoking cigarettes, do better in school, get out of debt, or join a fitness club. The sad part of making these resolutions is they are often very hard to keep and people often fail within the first few weeks or months of trying.
There is one New Year’s Resolution that can be achieved by teens and that is becoming a safer driver. It’s easy to achieve because licensed teenage drivers are in their vehicles every day giving them the opportunity to stick to their resolution.
In today’s world of driving, drivers are multitasking when behind the wheel. According to the Safe Driving Institute:
- 77% of drivers admit to talking or texting while driving
- 60% admit to eating while driving
- 50% admit to making obscene or rude gestures or comments to other drivers, particularly those who cut in front of them
- 50% admit to almost falling asleep while behind the wheel
- And there are countless teens getting behind the wheel of their vehicle drunk, high or buzzed.
Making a New Year’s resolution to eliminate the above while driving isn’t difficult to incorporate into your daily driving habits. Let’s look at a few:
- Ditch the cell phone because using a cell phone or texting while driving can be as dangerous or deadly as drunk driving. One way of doing this is to keep your cell phone far enough away that you will not be tempted to use it. Keep it turned off and let all messages go to voicemail to be listened to later. You can also purchase a cell phone blocker to block calls and/or texts while the vehicle is in motion, Only use a cell phone when driving for emergencies.
- Drive within the posted speed limit. When you speed you are increasing the chances of you getting into a crash, injuring or killing yourself or others. Don’t be a follower and speed alongside everyone else. Be a leader and show others you obey the law.
- Fast food is often a teens lifeline but not while you are driving. If you need a snack, go through the drive-through, get your food, park, eat and then continue your journey.
- Always look when entering a lane of traffic or passing another car. Get into the habit of using your turn signals and side-view mirrors and don’t forget those inexpensive “blind-spot mirrors“ can make the difference of getting into a crash or not.
- When someone cuts you off, take a deep breath, count to ten and let it go. Road rage accomplishes nothing except putting you in danger of a crash while you try to catch up to the other driver.
- Wear your seatbelt. Not because it’s the law, but because it will save your life.
- Study for your school tests at home, not while driving to school. Reading while driving is the second most common distraction while driving after the cell phone.
- Always remember drinking, drugging and driving don’t mix. One beer or a hit from one blunt can negatively impact your driving skills. If you plan on partying with alcohol or other substances, make sure you use a designated driver. Also remember that in all 50 states in the United States the legal age to consume alcohol is 21 and using illegal drugs such as marijuana is illegal.
- Finally, take a defensive driving course every couple of years. It’s always good to have a little refresher course and find out what changes have been made in the traffic laws and road conditions.
Remember, driving is a privilege and with a privilege comes responsibility and accountability. So make sure your New Year’s resolutions include becoming a smarter and safer driver. It’s an easy one to incorporate into your daily living and will help you survive on the road.
Happy New Year and Safe Driving!