Once You've Passed

Be a Smart Teen Driver

Aside from actual driving tips, new drivers can benefit from some philosophical advice as well. The attitude you adopt toward driving when you're just starting will have a big impact on how well you drive for the rest of your life.

  • Follow the rules: Your driving record will be with you for a long time. Some violations will be on your record forever. The cost of your car insurance premiums is determined by how good a driver you are, and the very lives of you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road rest in your hands.Don't cave to peer pressure: Sure, it's cool that you can drive (and that your parents trust you enough to let you). Don't blow that trust by allowing friends to entice or cajole you into activity that may get you into trouble ? or into an accident.
  • Be in charge: In your car, you set the rules of conduct for yourself and your passengers. Remembering all the things you need to drive a car safely just won't work if you have a bunch of rowdy friends along, music up loud, drinking soda, eating burgers, while everyone is chatting on their cell phones.
  • Get more help, if needed: Despite the fact that you have followed the regulations and studied to receive your California driver's license or permit, there may be gray areas of driving that you are still not sure of or confident in. It shows maturity to admit that you could use some more driving lessons.
  • Absolutely NO electronic devices while driving: On July 1st, 2008, using a cell phone (even with a headset), or any other mobile service device (PDA, laptop, pager, walkie-talkie, etc.) while driving will be illegal for under-18s. Experienced drivers become horrible when using electronics; for the inexperienced, it's just plain asking for trouble. Distractions are the No. 1 cause of teen car accidents.

If you run into car problems, have an accident, or get into a situation that you are not equipped to deal with, pull to a safe spot, then make a call.

Developing skills

Driver education programs can prepare young people to drive and can play a role in helping teens to begin developing driving skills. However, completion of driver education does not mean that teens are then ready to manage a full range of driving challenges. What research shows is more important to safe driving is the opportunity to improve driving skills through gradual exposure to increasingly-challenging driving tasks. Teens become safer drivers as they build driving experience and develop safe driving habits and behaviors.

Driver education can help provide the foundation for safe behaviors through knowledge and practicing beginning skills. Driver education should be viewed as the beginning of a process through which teens learn valuable driving skills and the experience necessary to make them safe drivers. Parents should not rely solely on driver education to provide teens the significant knowledge and experience that they need to become safe drivers. Too often, completing driver education is viewed as the end of the learning process, rather than the beginning. In some states, the completion of driver education qualifies a teen for full driving privileges. The National Safety Council believes this is not a wise approach. Research has shown that significant hours of behind-the-wheel experience are necessary to reduce crash involvement risk. In the process of obtaining that experience through the first two years of driving, the risk of crash involvement can be reduced through state-imposed graduated licensing and parental restrictions.

Good luck on the road to getting your license ? and once you're on the road behind the wheel. Driving sensibly and having a perfect driving record is something to strive for and something you can be proud of down the line. Have fun!

Recommended Cites

We recommend these great sites for automotive news ? they are updated daily, so you can get the most up-to-date information before you hit the road.

  • The Auto Channel provides daily reports on all things related to vehicles. It offers reviews of new cars and features, pricing information, and announcements from the top auto manufacturers.
  • Edmunds offers a myriad of information on a vast variety of car-related topics. A sampling of its automotive news included: profit and loss results for car manufacturers; the launch of a new foreign car model; results from a customer service index study; and, an article on tax breaks for hybrids.
  • Auto News displays a full range of auto-related articles. Some recent articles revealed car recall information, the passage of recent automotive legislation, the hiring of a car manufacturer executive, and the results of union talks.
  • MSNBCallows drivers to access current automotive news and updates. Follow the latest on stories such as: gasoline prices around the country, a massive tire recall, the "worst cars of 2006," and flex-fuel vehicle development.

Whether you just drive to work or school, or you're on a long haul from coast to coast, EZ Street Driving School brings you the latest in automotive breaking news.