The United States has one of the lowest age requirements for driving. Compared to countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, the U.S. has a relatively straightforward process for getting a driver’s license. In most states, you can start getting your license at age 16.
It can be exciting to drive alone at a young age. However, it can also be dangerous. There are about 2,400 lethal car accidents among the age group of 13-18. This is why it’s essential to be prepared before you hit the road yourself. Here are five ways teenagers can prepare for their first solo driving trip:
Get a Learner’s Permit
Driving at an earlier time can ensure that you get more practice behind the wheel. It can also help build your confidence before making a solo trip. You’ll have to pass the learner’s permit exam if you want to start driving early. You will also need to take a vision test. Once you have your permit, you can start practicing with a licensed driver who is 21 years old or older.
Those with this permit can only drive during daylight hours and must have someone in the passenger seat with a valid driver’s license. There are also restrictions on how many people can be in the car and where you can drive. These restrictions include:
- You can’t drive on highways or freeways
- You can’t drive with anyone in the vehicle who isn’t a family member
- You can’t drive between 11 pm and 5 am
- You must have your permit for at least six months before you can get your license
You can’t drive alone with this permit, but it can give you the time to practice. It can also provide you with access to driving lessons.
Take Driving Lessons
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, those who take professional driving lessons are less likely to get into an accident. This is especially true for teenagers. So, consider signing up for a driving school if you can afford it. You can also ask a family member or friend to give you lessons.
Some parents homeschool their children when it comes to learning how to drive. While this may save some money, it’s not always the best idea. It’s best to have someone else in the car who can help you if something goes wrong.
The main benefit of driving lessons is that you have someone else in the car who can help you if something goes wrong. Moreover, some tools can avoid accidents when taking a driving lesson. This tool includes dual control pedals, which help the person in the passenger seat to brake if needed. All of these are essential when learning how to drive.
Choose A Safe Car
The type of car you drive can affect your safety on the road. Smaller cars are more likely to get into accidents than larger ones. They’re also more likely to roll over. If you’re driving alone, choosing a safe car is best.
Some of the safest cars for teenagers include the Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, and Subaru Outback. These cars have good safety ratings and are less likely to get into accidents. They’re also less likely to roll over. If you can’t afford a new car, consider buying a used one that’s been well-maintained.
Create A Driving Plan
Before you hit the road, creating a driving plan is essential. This plan should include your route, where you’ll stop, and how long you’ll be on the road. It’s also important to tell someone else about your plan. This way, they can check in on you and ensure you’re safe.
Consider using a GPS system if you’re driving to a new place. This can help you stay on track and avoid getting lost. It’s also essential to have a map of the area. This way, you can find alternate routes if needed.
Prepare For Emergencies
It’s essential to be prepared for emergencies when driving solo. Make sure your car is in good working order before you leave. This includes checking the oil level, tire pressure, and fluid levels. You should also keep an emergency kit in your car, and the kit should consist of a first-aid kit, flares, jumper cables, and a spare tire.
You should also know how to change a tire. This way, you can change it if you get a flat tire. It’s also essential to know how to jump-start a car. This way, you can start your car if the battery dies.
Learning how to drive is a huge accomplishment for teenagers. But before they hit the road alone, there are some things they need to do to prepare. Following the preparations above can help ensure your teenager is ready for their solo driving trip.