Three Things All Teens Should Know When Learning to Drive

learning to drivePhoto by takahiro taguchi on Unsplash

Learning to drive is about more than learning how to accelerate and brake, use your turn signals and squeeze into a tight parking space. It also involves learning how to deal with the many different circumstance that you can encounter when on the road. If you are a teen learning to drive, you should especially know how to handle the following three situations:

1. When a Police Officer Stops You

If a police officer flashes blue lights, you should pull over to a safe spot as quickly as possible. Stay in your car and wait for the officer to approach your window. Do not get out of your car or make any sudden movements that will alarm the officer. You should be ready to provide the officer with your driver’s license and vehicle registration upon request. Also, you should be calm and polite throughout the course of the stop and answer the officer’s questions as clearly as possible. Never argue with the officer. If you believe the officer made a mistake and/or issued you a ticket that you did not deserve, you should save those arguments for traffic court.

2. When Your Driver Is About to Drive Under the Influence

Consuming any amount of alcohol can affect a person’s mental and physical faculties and increase their risk of getting into an accident. For this reason, you should never get into a car with anyone who has drank alcohol (or used a controlled substance such as marijuana). Call a taxi, Uber or Lyft instead. You should also reach an agreement with your parents that allows you to call them for a ride in this situation. You should also do your best to convince the impaired driver to find a different way home.

3. When You Get into an Auto Accident

If you are involved in any type of car accident – even a minor fender bender – you should pull over to a safe area. If possible, you should check on the condition of everyone in your car and the other car. Next, call the police. You will want an officer there to secure the scene and investigate the crash. Make sure to get the other driver’s name, insurance information and contact information. Do not admit fault or blame the other driver for what happened. You should also try to get photos of the accident and the names and phone numbers of any witnesses. Finally, tell your parents what happened and see a doctor as soon as possible. You should be thoroughly checked for any injuries you may have suffered in the crash.

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