The risk of crashes is particularly high for new drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that new drivers are more likely to experience an accident within the first two years of driving than during any other period in their lives. For this reason, practicing new driver safety is imperative to prevent accidents and injuries. Tips for new drivers should be instilled early so that new drivers can develop and maintain safe driving habits for the rest of their time behind the wheel.
Speeding is one of the main causes of accidents in new drivers, especially teenagers. It is important for new drivers to consider that the faster a vehicle is traveling, the longer it takes to stop. This becomes especially dire when a driver needs to brake quickly or come to a sudden stop while traveling at high speeds, such as on the highway. The ability to stop smoothly and avoid accidents in situations such as this often improves with experience. New drivers may not have the skill and vehicle familiarity that becomes critical for avoiding accidents.
Speed and Weather
The speed of a vehicle should also depend on the weather and other potentially hazardous conditions. The presence of ice, snow, rain, or strong wind significantly increases the risk of accidents and loss of vehicle control. New drivers should always err on the side of caution and drive at or below the speed limit when conditions feel dangerous.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than nine deaths and 1,060 injuries occur each day from distracted driving. Distracted driving is defined as participating in another activity that diverts the driver’s attention while on the road. The three main types of distraction are visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distractions cause drivers to take their eyes off the road. Manual distractions cause drivers to remove their hands from the wheel. Cognitive distractions cause drivers to take their mind off of driving.
Tips for new drivers include avoiding the following activities while driving:
Eating and drinking
Texting or talking on a cell phone
Controlling technology such as navigation
Reading, including maps
Going through a purse or wallet
Changing a radio station or CD
Talking to vehicle passengers
It is important for all vehicles to be properly maintained according to guidelines and standards. Brakes and tires are two components of a vehicle that play a critical role in safety. It is therefore important to make sure that each are maintained regularly and replaced when needed. Fluids and engines should also stay well-maintained.