Key Points for Safe Driving

Operating a vehicle is only one part of being a licensed driver. Now that you’re driving solo, enjoy the freedom — and understand your responsibilities while you continue to practice driving.

Play it safe
In the Know

  • Know your state's driving laws. Understand that you will be penalized for violating traffic laws, can be held responsible for damaging property and face consequences for any crash that injures or kills another person.
Keep a Clear Head

  • Avoid Distractions.
  • Never drink and drive. Never drive when you're extremely tired, angry or upset.
  • Keep your cool. Aggressive driving can increase your risk of a crash.
Safe Habits

  • Always wear your safety belt.
  • Respect speed limits and weather conditions.
  • Always remain alert for potentially risky situations.
  • Even after the state lifts your restriction on driving with teen passengers, don't make a habit of doing so.
Vehicle Prep & Use

  • Perform routine vehicle maintenance and safety checks.
  • Obey your family's driving agreement.

Don’t expect to get the keys whenever you want. Your crash risk will probably never be higher than now, even if you continue to practice driving. Your parents are right to require that you have a legitimate purpose for each trip. So, don’t get upset when your parents ask about your plans.

Don’t be overconfident. It takes about five years of experience to reach the skill levels of most drivers. Completing driver education doesn’t mean you have all the skills and experience you’ll need for driving safely. Overconfidence can increase your chance of a crash.

Continue to Practice Driving

  • Build your skills. Your parents should continue to practice driving with you — especially if you haven’t banked 100 hours yet. Ask them to help you practice driving in new driving conditions and on new roads, including highways, city streets and country roads.
  • Be patient. Your parents are probably concerned that you’re on the road alone, so they may tag along on trips even when you don’t want them to. So, be patient with them and use the time to practice driving and keep learning.
  • Practice virtually. Offered by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Driver-ZED is a computer program to help you practice driving on your PC where it’s a lot safer to make mistakes than in the real world.