The National Organizations For Youth Safety is celebrating Global Youth Traffic Safety Month again this May! The official U.S. launch was on May 8th in Washington, D.C. and it’s an important initiative to unite youth across the country to focus on the leading cause of death for them and their peers: traffic related crashes. In honor of this month, we’ve contacted driving schools across Massachusetts and gotten some top tips for new drivers from the schools’ owners, instructors, and even a police officer! These tips are coming straight from the experts, so be sure to share them with your new driver and make sure they’re staying safe on the road!
- Parents and teens need to respect and obey junior operator laws. Teens need to focus on driving without distractions for the first 6 months of driving. As teens get more experienced and better at driving, they get more confident and their speed creeps up. This can be both good and bad, they are now keeping up with the flow of traffic but going too fast and being distracted can lead to accidents which is why it’s so important for them to focus. Parents also need to list their teen on their insurance policy, and if the teen isn’t listed on your policy, don’t let them drive your car! If they were ever to invite their friend along for a ride in a parent’s car and get into an accident while they were still a junior operator, not only is that against the law and dangerous, but it also creates insurance issues for the parent. Obeying the junior operator makes everything safer and easier for both teens and parents. – Driving instructor and Police Officer Dave Avery, Avon Auto Academy
- Look ahead and be aware of what other drivers on the road are doing, for example if you see brake lights or a traffic light ahead, slow down. Try and think a step ahead so that you can prepare for what’s coming on the road! – Donna, Elm Auto School
- Make sure you come to a FULL stop at stop signs, which lasts for 3 seconds. If you’re stopped behind the line but can’t see if any cars are coming, pull up a little and stop again. – Sarah Warren, Lexington Driving School
- When you’re on the entrance ramp of the highway and are about to merge, look for a gap in highway traffic into which you can safely move. Remember to yield the right-of-way to drivers already on the highway. Never stop short at the end of the on-ramp, instead take the on-ramp slowly while preparing to merge. Always, always, ALWAYS signal so that drivers are aware that you plan to enter the highway. Upon leaving the on-ramp and entering the flow of traffic, you must accelerate to match the speed of vehicles already on the highway. In a perfect world other drivers would move over to let you onto the highway but that doesn’t always happen, so be alert and plan your merge accordingly! – Molly Sullivan and Anthony Parolisi, Methuen Auto School
- Before you do anything, whether it’s merging, making a turn, or pulling out of your driveway, the two most important things to remember are to signal and look! Put your directional on and make sure you look both ways before doing anything, it will keep you safe and make sure that all other drivers are aware of what direction you plan on going. – Jay, Chelmsford Auto School
These are great things for all drivers to keep in mind, but especially those that are new to the road. These great tips are easy to remember and cover the most important things that new drivers should focus on. Share these with any new driver you may know in honor of Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, stay safe!
Photo By: State Farm