Driving Tips Especially for Teens
From Kansas' seasoned travelers to students fresh out of driver's ed, all drivers need a few reminders now and then. The Kansas Highway Patrol offers the following safety tips for your next safe, successful turn behind the wheel:
- Always buckle your seat belt! If the car has a passenger-side air bag, do not let children or small teens ride in the front passenger seat. They should be buckled up in the back seat.
- Never drive after drinking or taking drugs! Even some over-the-counter drugs can impair driving. Check the warning label before taking them.
- Leave tricks and racing to professional drivers. They are trained and operate under controlled conditions you cannot duplicate.
- Drive defensively, and obey traffic laws and speed limits. You do not own the road, but you do own a car. Be responsible and protect it, yourself, and others. Watch out for deer, aggressive drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
- Headlights make you more visible to others. Use them during dusk, night, dawn, inclement weather, and even daylight on long stretches of roadway.
- Be cautious about assuming what other drivers will do. For example, even if a car's turn signal is on, wait for the driver to commit to the turn before you pull out in front of him or her. Keep at least a 2-second distance away from the vehicle ahead of you.
- If your lane is obstructed, wait for oncoming traffic to clear before you pull around. To avoid a head-on collision, be extremely cautious passing on a 2-lane road.
- Learn what to do during severe weather.
- Looking away from the road for a few seconds can cause an accident, so avoid distractions. Pull over at a safe spot to talk on the phone, comb your hair or put on make-up, find a different CD, let a bug out of the car, or clean up a mess. If your friends will be distracting passengers, do not drive with them.
- A loud stereo can be distracting, make you drive faster than you should, and keep you from hearing a siren or horn. Turn it down to be on the safe side.
- To go somewhere new, get complete directions and understand them before you go.
- Do not drive tired. Do not use cruise control late at night or when you are tired. If you fall asleep, the car will crash at that speed.
- Do not drive when you are angry or upset. Strong emotions can distract you or encourage foolish actions.
- Learn how to pump your own gas, jump-start a car, and properly maintain your car (e.g. how to check and add oil and windshield washer fluid).
- If you are stranded and have a cell phone, dial *47 (*HP) for the nearest Highway Patrol dispatcher or *KTA on the Kansas Turnpike for assistance.