Congratulations if you just received your license! This new freedom comes with a lot of responsibility, though. Safe driving starts before you even leave the driveway by promising yourself and your parents that you will drive safe by always wearing your seatbelt and obeying all traffic laws.
Before You Drive
Safe driving starts before you even get into the car. No matter what the situation, DO NOT get into the drivers seat if you have been drinking. Underage drinking is a crime in itself, but combine it with driving, and you can be in a lot of trouble for many years to come. Alcohol is a factor in 24% of fatal accidents for drivers in the 16- to 20-year-old age bracket.
Be sure you can think straight. Not getting enough sleep is a huge factor in crashes involving younger drivers. Teenagers tend to stay up late and get up early, therefore they are not always alert behind the wheel.
Keep your vehicle in good shape. Change the oil every 3 months or 3,000 miles. Keep enough gas in your tank to reach your destinations. Repair any broken or damaged areas immediately.
Make sure all passengers are buckled up! Even if a backseat passenger is not buckled in, you will be the one who receives the ticket. You are responsible for ensuring everyone's safety in your vehicle. Do not carry more people than there are seatbelts.
See if your vehicle has an air bag system. Some people think that if they use their seat belts they don't need an air bag. That's untrue. A combination of seat belts and air bags provides the best means of lifesaving support than just one or the other. The combination of both of these items greatly decreases the risk of receiving brain and facial injuries.
If you are a policyholder of Florida Auto Insurance, it's a good idea to take along Florida Auto Insurance's phone number, 1-800-648-6820. No matter which insurance company you use, keep a copy of its phone number in your glove box. If you get into an accident, call the police - then call your insurance company.
When You Drive
Common sense plays the biggest role while driving. By doing such things as obeying traffic laws you can avoid fines, penalties, and risking injury to yourself or others. In the long run this will ultimately save you money on your car insurance.
Avoid distractions. Cell phones, passengers, the radio, food and drink, or sights along the road can mentally distract you from your driving. You need to always concentrate on the road and the vehicles around you. Don't let peer pressure affect you. Always think before you act.
Do not speed. Almost one-third of accidents involve speeding. Always obey the speed limits posted and drive slower and more carefully in inclement weather. Only pass vehicles where indicated and make sure there is enough room to pass. The night-driving crash rate for teenagers is almost double that of dayo-driving, so be careful once the sun goes down. Always pay attention to road conditions, such as potholes and roadwork, as these can lead to accidents.
Why The High Rates?
Young drivers often question why their insurance rates are so high. Insurance rates are set by statistics, and the fact is that younger drivers are involved in more accidents than any other age group because of their inexperience on the road. If you keep a good driving record, you should see your rate go down around the age of 18, then again around 21. Once you turn 25, you will notice your rate is significantly lower than what it was when you first started driving (keeping in mind you have a clear driving record).