Motor Vehicle Safety
Maybe you’ve just earned your license, or perhaps you’ve had it for years. Maybe you drive a car, truck or SUV. Wherever you are in your driving journey, it’s time to review the rules of the road.
Make smart decisions when driving
Keep the following in mind: the Rules of the Road from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
1. Don’t drive impaired.
Drinking before the age of 21 is illegal in every state, and alcohol and driving should never mix, no matter your age. Marijuana slows a user’s reaction time and affects a driver’s ability to drive safely. Remember that drugs – illegal, prescription, or over the counter – can impair driving and have deadly consequences. Know how over-the-counter medications affect you before you drive.
2. Buckle up! Every trip, every time. everyone – front seat and back.
It’s important to buckle up on every trip, every time, in the front seat and the back. Before you start your motor vehicle, check to make sure EVERYONE is buckled.
3. Keep eyes on the road, hands on the wheel. All the time.
You should never text, dial, or use mobile apps while driving. Place your phone out of reach when you’re on the road. Turn on your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” or similar feature to help avoid the temptation of checking the call or text. Remember that distracted driving isn’t limited to phone use. Other passengers, audio, and climate controls in the vehicle, and eating or drinking while driving are all examples of dangerous distractions for drivers. Loud music is distracting, too. Always take your headphones off before driving. You need to be able to hear another vehicle’s horn, or the siren from an emergency vehicle, so you can move over for them.
4. Follow the posted speed limit.
Speeding is a critical issue for all drivers, especially for teens who lack the experience to react to changing circumstances around their cars. Obey the posted speed limit and know that every time the speed you’re driving doubles, the distance your car will travel when you try to stop quadruples.
5. Limit passengers.
For teen drivers, with each passenger in the vehicle, the risk of a deadly crash goes up. Many states have laws for new teen drivers about how many passengers can be in the car, and who can ride with a teen driver. Know the law before you hit the road; it may prohibit you from having any passengers in the vehicle with you.