As Ella Fitzgerald sang “Summertime and the living is easy.” I’m sure many people sank into their seats, felt themselves relax with the the sultry smells and sounds of the warmer months, as the sun warmed through their skin, penetrating their bones.
As the summer months approach within the UK, I thought it is well worth spending a little bit of time contemplating those distractions available to a teen whilst driving and offering a reminder to the Supervising Driver – who may very well be a friend and must be over 21, to stay safe whilst on the road.
As a young driver you may have friends who want to spend time cruising with you. Which is fine but remember the rules of the road and the law. As a driver (and supervising driver) you need to be focused on the road, not on what is going on in the car. Holding a driving licence can be one of the first steps in being, not just free and independent but also responsible for yourself and for others.
With freedom comes great responsibility!
- DRIVE SENSIBLY
Driving sensibly can save you money on your car insurance. Mess up in those first couple of years and you could lose your licence but also on needing to pass the obligatory tests again, may find your car insurance is hiked up. Driving safely – saves money. Something most teens don’t have a lot of.
Those summer distractions can involve relatively simple things like night-times being warmer, encouraging a desire to be driving around later at night. Personally i’ve noticed the difference in the level of driving when out after 11 pm. With many young adults on the road, I find the pace of traffic has a more frantic feel to it. Even though there is less of it, there seems to be more cars in pairs which can sometimes encourage competitiveness.
Summertime also means a shedding of winter clothes and a freeing of the skin. Don’t become distracted by shorts and tees. Skimpy skirts and dresses and shirtless men. This does happen. I remember when my son was little and we were out for a walk. I was pushing him in his buggy and leant slightly over to tend to his needs – next thing I heard, was a squealing of tyres as a guy in a car-having lost control because he was looking at me. Nearly drove onto the pavement. Although quite flattering at the time, it doesn’t distract from the danger that he and others were put in due to him losing concentration whilst driving.
Educate Teens on Car Maintenance. With the radio playing the summer’s top tunes, it’s easy for teens to miss important car maintenance signs; therefore, parents should add car maintenance – such as checking tire pressure and fluids – to their list of things to discuss with their teens. Even if just one tire has low pressure, it can dramatically change the way a car handles. Also, parents should be sure that their teen drivers check all fluids like window washing fluid, coolant, oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and power steering fluid. Making sure these fluids are properly maintained can help prevent a breakdown far from home. www,autotrader.com
- THINK ABOUT YOUR FOOTWEAR
Think about the footwear you have on your feet when driving. Flip flops are great for the summer but are not necessarily the best footwear to drive in. Try and avoid bare feet totally and especially if your feet are wet. Wearing something which is secured to the foot is much safer than wearing high heels – which can become trapped underneath the peddles. Try and keep an old pair of flat shoes in the car for driving. Then you always have a pair to hand (or foot!)