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Keep teens safe while driving with these helpful tips

Nicole Villalpando

Insurance company USAA gives us a list of 10 things to keep teen safe while driving, but really these are good tips for any driver.

  1. Don’t try to multitask. Avoid these nine distractions while driving:

    Student driver Morgan Stewart takes her third test drive with driving instructor Zane Bush, left, in 2013. Student drivers have to complete at least seven on the road driving test drives during driving school. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN- STATESMAN)

  • Talking on the phone even if hands-free. Teen drivers younger than 18 can’t legally talk on the phone while driving even with a hands-free device.
  • Text messaging.
  • Tweaking your GPS settings.
  • Grooming. That means no putting on makeup, brushing your hair, picking your nose, etc.
  • Retrieving dropped items. Let it go. You can get it later.
  • Driving unruly passengers. That’s why teen drivers aren’t allowed to have more than one person in the car with them who is under 21 unless a family member.
  • Letting the dog onto your lap. 
  • Rubbernecking. Don’t try to figure out what happened in that accident. Just mind your own driving.


  1. Don’t text and drive.
  2. Don’t always assume that green means go. Look out for the driver who runs a red light.
  3. Don’t drive when you’re tired. Pull off the road, take a pit stop, get a soda, get some fresh air.
  4. Don’t ignore the weather. Double or triple the space you normally leave between you and the car in front of you in wet weather.
  5. Minimize whiplash in case of an accident by adjusting your car’s headrest to a height behind your head – not your neck.
  6. Keep your hands at3 o’clock and 9 o’clock on the steering wheel.
  7. Be mindful of manufacturer recalls. Look up your vehicle by vehicle identification number at this site
  8. Watch out for motorcyclists. They are hard to see and are in your blind spot often. (We’d also add bicyclists and pedestrians).
  9. Keep an emergency kit in your car. Have supplies should your car become disabled or you become injured.