Teenagers in New Mexico have three times the crash rate as the general population. Car accidents among teens are occurring more often than they did in the past as well. Distracted driving occurs in numerous ways and is the main culprit behind teen car accidents.
Limit yourself to one passenger
Just one passenger in a car with a teenage driver in New Mexico increases the risk of an accident by 40%. This risk increases exponentially with each additional passenger. Passengers are one type of distraction that causes distracted driving. Teens are especially vulnerable to this distraction. Some would say it’s even worse than cell phones.
Silence your notifications
Smartphones are one of the biggest distractions among teen drivers. You may want to put your phone on “do not disturb” whenever you drive. The pings are distracting even if you don’t look away from the road to check your notifications. Anything that takes your mind off of driving, even if it’s only for a second, increases your risk of car accidents. A person can’t focus on more than one thing at a time. They change their focus in milliseconds, which creates the illusion of multitasking.
Give 18-wheelers more space
You may want to increase your following distance behind an 18-wheeler to improve your safety. Rigs have large tires that can injure you if they pop off. They also have dangerous loads that can injure you if they spill. A truck driver has more blind spots on the right side of the vehicle, so you might want to pass on the left-hand side whenever possible.
Not everyone pays attention or follows the rules on the road. Thus, you may want to allow more time for changing lanes to account for people who won’t let you. Knowing your surroundings will help you plan escape routes and notice hazards sooner. Ideally, you may want to ensure your car has space to move into to avoid a hazard.
Replying to your friends and arriving on time isn’t worth risking your life for. You could stay safer on the road by following the above driving tips, remembering to stay calm and following the law. Speed limits, signs and other rules are there to keep you safe.