By Hannah Li
It is a right-of-passage for teenagers to get their driver's license when they turn 16. Unfortunately, car accidents are the leading cause of death among young adults aged 15 to 29, so it is important to remember to drive safely and responsibly when you get your license.
The main causes of all car accidents are distracted driving, speeding and driving while under the influence. It might be obvious not to do these things, but many people still do so.
Driving while distracted is very dangerous and can lead to death. While it may be tempting to pick up your phone at a red light or when a notification pops up, it is more important to get to your destination safely and without harm. Place your phone in the backseat or silence it to make sure that you don’t get distracted while driving. Any other distractions that might cause you to lose focus should also be put in the backseat. In addition, never drive if you are sleepy or tired, as you will lose concentration much faster.
Speeding is not only dangerous, it is also against the law. While it is safer to follow the flow of the road, driving 60 mph in a 35 mph area can only lead to disaster. If you are in a hurry to get somewhere, look up a shortcut before you go or just leave your house earlier. Remember, there are no good reasons to speed.
Driving after you’ve had alcohol is never a good idea, no matter how little you may have had. If you are in a situation where you’ve had alcohol and need to get home, ask a friend to drive you home or call a taxi.
Less common causes of car accidents are animal crossings, tailgating and unsafe lane changes. To avoid these, make sure to pay attention to your surroundings, make sure that there is at least a three second difference between you and the car in front of you and make sure to always use you signal when attempting a lane change.
Keep in mind that there are no good reasons to risk your life and the lives of others, so be careful when on the road.