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Top 10 ways teens can prevent accidents
- Commit to being a responsible driver. You’re controlling more than 3,000 pounds of fast-moving metal, and you owe it to yourself, your passengers and other motorists to drive responsibly.
- Get as much supervised practice driving as possible. Make a firm schedule with your parents and stick to it until you take the test to get your license.
- ALWAYS wear your seat belt. Get into the habit of wearing your seat belt whenever you drive or ride—no exceptions.
- Train for poor weather conditions. Get as much supervised practice driving in poor weather as you can before trying it on your own.
- Limit your passengers. Nearly two out of three teen crash deaths that involve 16-year-old drivers happen when a new driver has one or more teen passengers.
- Limit your night driving. Your risk of a fatal crash is three times higher at night than in the day for every mile driven.
- Keep it slow and safe for starters. Avoid difficult driving situations—like highway driving, merging on ramps and driving in cities—until you’ve acquired enough supervised driving experience.
- Don’t drive under the influence. Even if you’ve had just one drink or smoked one joint, there is a chemical effect on your brain that can impair judgement and reaction time.
- Don’t use a cell phone while driving. Keep a cell phone in the car for emergency situations only. If you have to use the phone to talk or text, pull over safely to the side of the road.
- Drive a safe vehicle. If you’re getting your own car, look for one with a high safety rating from sources like Consumer Reports and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (the people who do crash tests).