Teen drivers and new drivers hear so many safe teen driving tips when they enter drivers ed that it can be hard to make sense of it all.
From drunk drivers to distracted driving, right of way laws, rules of the road, and learning traffic laws, it’s pretty overwhelming!
Hopefully, this article can sum it all up for you, so that you can grasp the general idea of the whole thing with just a few minutes of reading.
Let’s get started!
Basic teen driving tips for new drivers
While you should try to learn as much as you can, there are some main rules you should follow as a new driver. Nothing beats experience, and as you gain experience, you’ll learn how to become a safer driver and properly use all defensive driver tips properly. But as a brand new driver, you have a unique challenge… Knowing what the most important techniques are for a newbie.
Don’t hit anything!
Obvious teen driving tip? Yes. But think about it. No matter what you do, everything can be fixed as long as you don’t hit anything. Make a wrong turn? Screw up a ‘right of way’ rule? Exceed the speed limit? No matter what you do wrong, as long as you don’t hit anything, you can easily recover. Even experienced drivers make mistakes from time to time. So no matter what kind of situation you get into, just don’t hit anything!
Drive the car, unless you can’t!
That’s a confusing statement, so let me explain.
What I mean is, don’t allow yourself to get flustered. If somebody is honking at you, yelling at you, or you feel extremely pressured for some reason, sometimes you just need to block that out. JUST DRIVE THE CAR.
Remember the last rule? No matter what, just don’t hit anything. If you feel so flustered that you just can’t make rational decisions, you need to pull the car over and stop! You are much less dangerous when you’re stopped.
And if you must stop, do it in a place that you’re out of the way of traffic. Take some deep breaths, block out whatever got you flustered, and get going again when you’ve collected yourself.
Drive with your head, not your emotions
Don’t allow your emotions to take over your judgment. Listen, people are jerks out on the road. Drivers will honk, yell, tailgate, and try to bully you to do what they want, instead of what you are comfortable with or what is safe. Ignore those people. Just drive the car and don’t hit anything! If you start to drive with your emotions, you become very dangerous. Make smart decisions. Don’t try to do what “everyone else” wants you to do. Trust yourself and keep safety first. Leave your ego in the garage.
When you screw up, move on
As a new driver, you will make mistakes. Lots of them. Even experienced drivers make mistakes pretty frequently. You need to learn how to react to those mistakes. If you let a mistake get into your head, you’ll screw up again, and again, and again. Make a mental note of your mistake and try to learn something from it. But don’t let it fluster you. Mistakes while you’re behind the wheel happen. You better learn to live with that right now. Just don’t hit anything, drive the car, and drive with your brain…not your emotions. Everything else will fall into place, even when you do make the occasional error.
Listen to your teachers
This part you’re not going to like. Whether your instructor is your mom, dad, school teacher, or professional driver trainer, you need to listen to what they say. Your parents have probably been drivers for many years and have logged thousands of hours behind the wheel. It might not seem like it at times, but they know what they’re talking about. Don’t get into a power struggle with your driving instructor when they try to give you teen driving tips. If you disagree with anything your instructor told you while driving, make a mental note and bring it up later.
Use good driving habits from day one
Good driving habits (and bad driving habits) are formed early on. So you must form good driver habits early by following as many safe teen driving tips as possible.
Here are some good driving habits you can start working on:
- Always pay attention to the traffic around you by checking your rear-view mirrors. Also, always anticipate what other drivers will do.
- Use your turn signals promptly as a courtesy to other drivers when you intend to turn or change lanes so that they can act accordingly in advance.
- Never ever block intersections when the traffic light turns red. Trust me, this is really annoying and can get you into trouble with other drivers!
- Take the traffic light phases seriously. Most accidents start when drivers think they can beat the red light, but please don’t. You’re not only putting your life in danger every time you ignore the traffic lights, but you’re also endangering the lives of pedestrians and other drivers just to save a few minutes.
- Always ensure that you are within a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. This should be enough to give you 2 to 4 seconds of reaction, in case you’ll need to hit the brakes suddenly.
- Avoid distractions while driving. This includes using your mobile phone, eating, listening to loud music, and other activities that take your attention off the road. This is pretty plain and simple but a lot of drivers, young or adult, tend to ignore it. So make a good habit of avoiding them, especially while you’re still new.
Remember that good driver habits save lives. It also creates a pleasant and safe space for driving wherever you are.
Check out our defensive driving section to learn all about how to use proper defensive driving safety tips. Start using these techniques early and I guarantee you’ll be a safe driver for years to come.
You need to pay attention to a lot of teen driving tips. But don’t forget to have fun, too! Getting your drivers license is awesome. It’s going to change your life for the better. You might not understand it completely now, but it’s a great freedom to be able to drive. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll simply love the act of driving. It’s fun! So just relax, have confidence in yourself and your teachers (even if that’s mom or dad) and have fun with it while practicing all of the teen driving tips as you can. Congratulations! You’re at a huge turning point in your life!