Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Indiana
You're young. You can't wait to get your driver's license. You see it as another step on the road to independence.
All of that is understandable. And, normal. But, you should also be aware that:
- The leading cause of death for teenagers is car crashes.
- Inexperienced driving is cited as the reason for most teenage crashes.
- 16-year-olds are about three times more likely to die in a crash as the average-aged driver.
- 16-year-olds have a higher crash rate than any other age of driver.
- About half of teenage deaths occur when there is another teen in the car.
- Death rates for 16- and 17-year-old drivers increase with each extra passenger.
These statistics aren't meant to scare you from driving. They're meant to alert you to the danger that is possible any time you get behind the wheel and turn the ignition.
If you are looking for the nuts and bolts about the restrictions on and the steps for young drivers to obtain driver's licenses, be sure to get all of the details. Surely those particulars are important, but so is the matter of learning to be a safe driver.
Safety Tips for New Drivers
So what can you do to help make sure that you―and your passengers―stay safe? Try the following safety tips:
- While driving, try to limit the use of your cell phone to emergencies. As a teen, it may seem that using a cell phone is as natural as breathing. However, numerous studies have shown that using a cell phone while driving greatly increases your risk of being in an accident. You may think you're paying attention to what's happening on the road, but it is extremely easy to miss little details that could lead to an accident. As a teen, while driving it is far better to just concentrate on your driving.
- Along the same lines, don't apply makeup, comb your hair, eat your lunch, flip around the radio, or talk excessively to your passengers while driving. Distractions often lead to accidents, no matter how minor the distraction may seem. In fact, it's the most common reason for crashes. So, keep your eyes on the road, and your attention on your driving.
- Be especially careful at intersections. This is where most accidents occur that involve teen drivers. Your inexperience may make it difficult for you to properly judge distance and speed. So, take it easy, and drive defensively. Don't assume that just because you have the green light that other cars will stop.
- Obey the speed limits. Yes, that sounds obvious. But, speed limits are there for a reason. While your reflexes as a teen may be good, your experience level is not. Going too fast simply gives you less time to react. So, give yourself a break, and just slow down. And, this doesn't even take into account the ramifications of getting a speeding ticket while you're a teen.
- Make sure to wear your seat belt, no matter how long you're planning to be in the car. Accidents can happen in the first few seconds after you begin driving, too. Also, make sure your passengers wear their seat belts, as well. It may seem like nagging, but if you're in an accident, that seat belt might help limit the injuries and possibly save your life, or the life of a friend. Just like speed limits, seat belts are there for a reason.
- Be especially careful when driving with friends. Studies have shown that the more passengers you have in your car, the more likely you'll be in an accident.
- If you're feeling tired or drowsy, don't drive. If you're already on the road, find a good place to stop. Then, take a brief nap, or just get out of your car and stretch or walk around for a bit. Doing so will enable your mind and body to be refreshed, so that you'll be more alert when you begin driving again.
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