Even though I got my temps, I am scared to start driving. I’m nervous I won’t pass the driving test. Can I handle the responsibility of a new driving license and drive safely?
To find out, I took a “drive” among my school peers. What driving tips and other safe driving advice did other teen drivers give me?
7 Tips For New Drivers From Fellow Teen Drivers
1. Do NOT stress it.
Take deep breaths and try not to “lose” your head during the test. Even though it seems that everyone else has a new drivers license, and you’re desperate to join the club, just concentrate on your own test.
2. Use blinkers.
Shockingly, this came up with all the students I interviewed. Apparently, it can be very frustrating when the person in the car ahead of you doesn’t give adequate time to let you know when they are going to turn. And this is not just an issue with teen driving! Make sure to signal because a failure to signal can be very dangerous and lead to car accidents.
3. Be comfortable in your own skin.
Do not be intimidated by your peers’ fancy cars. The parking lot in our economically diverse high school says it all. One friend said: “Your car, and the Saab in front of you, and the 2010 Jeep Cherokee behind you, all can go from point A to point B.”
4. Prepare for your test.
As in, really prepare. Drive as many places as possible before taking the test so that you have a feel of various roads and environments. Spend lots of time practicing maneuverability with your driving teacher and/or parent.
5. Don’t give out rides.
Once you have a car, you will gain a handful of new friends. And friends can distract from driving safely. Being able to say NO is key. You can make up an excuse like, “My parents won’t let me.” Or just plain say, “NO.”
6. Overestimate arrival time.
Everyone expressed how much freedom there is when you get your license. You no longer have to beg for a ride or wait for one. But you must counteract this freedom with discipline. Mom will no longer pressure you to get up in the morning because she already left for a meeting. Or, you talked too much at school and now you’re late to an after-school meeting. You must manage your own time.
7. Pay full attention to the road.
There are so many distractions while driving, from the passengers to a simple text saying, “Hi.” Make sure that you are driving safely—for yourself and others on the road.