Tips for Teen Drivers: Staying Safe on the Road

Teen driver

With school being out, more teens are on our busy Kansas City roads, some of whom are fairly new drivers. June is National Safety Month and we want to share some safe driving practices with those teenage drivers.

Basic Safe Driving Practices

Teen driver buckling upThere are basics when it comes to driving that can never be said enough:

  • Obey speed limits.
  • Always wear your seat belt — that means both driver and passengers.
  • Turn off the cell phone and keep it turned off.
  • Don’t text and drive, not even while stopped.
  • Minimize distractions — that means don’t eat, drink, change radio stations or adjust the air conditioner.
  • Don’t drink and drive.


  • Studies show that using a cell phone while driving is the equivalent of driving drunk.
  • Texting takes your focus off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. A lot can go wrong in those few seconds when your eyes are not on the road.
  • Distracted driving is a top cause of death across all age groups, not just teens. However, inexperienced drivers are more likely to lose control of a car.
  • Speeding is a leading contributor to fatal teen accidents. Don’t feel like you need to keep up with traffic. Going too fast gives you less time to stop or react.
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for 15-20 year olds. Click To Tweet

Safe Driving Practices Teens May Forget

  • Adjust the car’s head rest to a height behind your head — not your neck. If you happen to be in an automobile accident this will minimize whiplash.
  • It is now recommended you hold the steering wheel at 3 and 9 o’clock on the wheel. This may keep your hands from flying into your face should the airbags deploy.
  • Don’t ever assume you know what other drivers are planning to do. Someone who has their turn signal on may have just forgotten to turn it off. Other times, drivers forget to use a turn signal and may break quickly.
  • Stay out of the way of aggressive drivers. As a new driver, you may be a little cautious, which can annoy other drivers. The best advice is to pull into another lane to let them pass.
  • Instead of making a left-hand turn across a busy intersection, drive further down the road until you come to an intersection with a light.
  • Always use turn signals, not just when turning but also when changing lanes.

Safe Driving Practices When Passing

Don’t pass another car:

  • Over a solid yellow line on your side — you should have a dotted line to pass
  • In dangerous weather
  • When you are on a hill or going around a curve, often you can’t see what is coming
  • If there is road work in progress
  • When traveling on narrow roads or bridges

If you are ever in doubt as to whether you can pass another vehicle safely, then don’t.

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photo credit: Teen Driver via photopin (license)
photo credit: Female Teen Driver Buckling Her Seatbelt via photopin (license)

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