Helping new drivers

Practice...Practice...Practice

The fact that you have a California learner's permit or driver's license means that you are no longer a little kid. So now is the time to start showing that you really can be the responsible young adult you want people to think you are. To drive like a grown-up, a beginner driver needs to practice at least 50 hours at home and follow these tips:

  • Buckle up: Both you and all your passengers should be buckled up before you turn over the ignition. In California, wearing seatbelts is mandatory. If you do have an accident and someone in your car is not buckled up, you could be charged with a crime. Allow plenty of room: In other words, back off. Always drive with the "three-second rule" in mind. Look at the vehicle ahead of you and note when it crosses a shadow over the road or passes a certain mark. If it takes your vehicle less than a count of three to reach the same spot, chill out; you are following too close.
  • Slow down: Young drivers underestimate the power (and weight) of a vehicle speeding down the roadway? and they overestimate their ability to control and react to an emergency situation. When you consider those two factors, it's easy to understand why 37% of all teen fatalities from car accidents have been linked to speeding.
  • Watch the intersections: In 2003, 58% of crashes in urban areas occurred at intersections. Drivers who run red lights are a major cause of serious injuries. Assume (for safety's sake) that the other driver is going to make an illegal maneuver, and be ready to avoid the problem.
  • No drugs or alcohol in your car: If you know your friends use drugs or alcohol, do not allow them to ride with you?it's as simple as that. Besides the fact that it's illegal in all 50 states, teen drinking is involved in one-third of all teen driving fatalities. Don't lose your license? or your life? because of one night of partying.
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