More Advice for Teen Drivers
A while back, I offered up some advice for teen drivers – things that they don’t necessarily learn in Drivers Ed. I really only scratched the surface of things they need to know – and watching the drivers in our town, apparently a lot of you could use a refresher as well.
Don’t block the box – If you’ve ever driven in New York City or any other major city, you’ve definitely seen this sign. What it means is unless you can clear the intersection and not get stuck in the middle, STAY BEHIND THE LINE AT THE LIGHT! You’re really not getting there any faster by nudging you and your car into the intersection. The least thing that will happen is you’ll tick off every driver around you (who now cannot go) and the worst thing? You’ll get t-boned. Neither are good options. Don’t block the box.
After you! Letting someone else go in front of you is not going to cost you a lot of time and it will reward you on your do-goods for the day. I can’t tell you how many times I have almost run off the road at the end of a ramp because some stupid yahoo couldn’t (ahem – wouldn’t) let me in. Because me getting in front of you is going to be the deal breaker in you getting home to that steak dinner. You say ‘damn Yankees’ but up north, every car lets one car in front of them that is merging off (or on) the highway. We’re all in this commute thing together. Help a sister or brother out, would you?
Don’t be a tool and tailgate – How many of us have had some guy (or gal) riding our tail and wished that we were driving a total beater so that we could just lock up our breaks and let them eat our muffler? No one? Just me? Seriously.. next to the weavers, tailgaters are the pond scum of the highway and deserve any and all tickets and accidents that come their way. There is just no reason for it and it never ends well.
Another reason not to ride someones tail – Carjackings seemed to be much worse about 10 years ago, but they still happen everywhere. One way to reduce the chances of this happening to you is not to pull all the way up to the bumper of the person in front of you when you come to a light. Always leave space in front of you in case somebody tries to carjack you. This space could mean the difference between you being able to get out of a bad situation and not.
Plan accordingly – No matter where you are going, most likely it’s going to take you 10 minutes longer to get there than you think. Plan ahead and don’t be late.
Who’s on empty? When it comes to your gas tank, you should get in the mindset that a quarter of a tank is like an empty tank. When that needle hits ¼ tank – stop and get gas. If you don’t get gas when it’s at a quarter tank, then without a doubt, as soon as the light comes on you need to stop at the next gas station you see. I promise you that you will learn this lesson the first time you have to walk to a gas station to get gas. And don’t give me the AAA crap. Please.
Always check the backseat before you get in the car – Have you ever watched a scary movie and the person is oblivious and walking out to their car, they put their key in the door, get in, start driving and suddenly some crazy-ass lunatic pops out of the backseat? Uhm.. yeah.. it only takes one second to glance in the back window and see if there’s a giant, breathing lump back there. And if there is? Run like the wind. But run in zigzags because knives, bears and bullets don’t travel in a straight line. Just saying…
No hitchhiking – This one is simple – Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever stop and let someone in your car that you don’t know. And I would even question letting someone you didn’t know really well in your car. There’s nothing funny about this one. Don’t do it. Ever.
There is so much for our teen drivers to learn. Every little nugget of wisdom that we can give them is going to set them up for success. What advice would you offer?