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Back-to-School Driving Tips for Illinois Teens

September 12, 2015  ·  By HM&M

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With school now in full swing and social activities heating up, more drivers are on the road. More importantly, there are more inexperienced teen drivers on the road, and that means the risk of a vehicular accident is higher. Of course, the only way to become experienced is to practice safe driving. So take a deep breath and encourage your teen to use these back-to-school driving tips while navigating the Illinois roads.

General Driving Safety Tips

General safety rules apply whether your teen is driving through the city of Chicago (recently named eight worst city for drivers), in the country, or in your local hometown. They are even a good refresher for parents who, amidst all the distraction and day-to-day craziness, often forget to abide by these simple but important safe-driving rules:

  • Always buckle your seatbelt, even for short trips. And make sure your passengers buckle up as well.
  • Keep your windshield clean (inside and out) to avoid issues with glare and poor visibility.
  • Never make assumptions about what another driver will do (i.e. wait for the other driver to engage in their turn instead of going by their turn signal).
  • Whenever possible, avoid making left-hand turns at intersections without a designated turn arrow. A large majority of accidents happen at these intersections.
  • Avoid intense conversations or arguments while driving.
  • Do not carry more passengers than there are seatbelts, and try to carry only the number of passengers necessary. Fewer passengers means less distraction;
  • Know how to share the road with semi-trucks and motorcycles.
  • Turn your phone on silent while driving to resist the temptation to take phone calls, text messages, or check social media.
  • Watch for special traffic signs, including those alerting you of construction areas or rough roads.
  • Avoid the temptation to “compete” with or “get back at” aggressive drivers. This can be a dangerous situation for all involved.
  • Stay especially alert as you get close to home. When we do routine driving, we tend to get more lax in our driving. Unfortunately, this exponentially increases our risk for an accident.
  • Do not ever drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol or ride with someone who has been using. Call a cab or someone you can trust instead.
  • Avoid fiddling with the radio while driving and keep the volume down on your radio to ensure you can hear traffic and sirens around you.
  • And remember that a vehicle has the propensity to kill you and the people around you. Driving is a privilege that should not be taken lightly.

Safety Tips for Driving to and From School

The drive to and from school is full of extra hazards, such as an increase in traffic and school buses. Be alert and follow these safety rules to make the drive a little safer:

  • Always stop for school buses and watch for children getting on and off.
  • Leave for school at least ten minutes early to ease the feeling of being rushed. The other big benefit is that, by leaving early, you will avoid excessive traffic in the school parking lot.
  • If at all possible, leave school five minutes later. This will reduce the amount of traffic you are dealing with on the way out of school.
  • When possible, take the roads less frequently traveled on your way to and from school.

Safety Tips for Rural Driving

For one reason or another, your teen may need to drive in rural areas. While traffic is typically minimal in this setting, there are other dangers to be aware of:

  • Drive with lights on at all times and turn on your brights when visibility is low (remember to turn off your brights when you see another car approaching).
  • Watch for animals, especially deer. They can wreak serious havoc on a vehicle and have the propensity to cause a severe accident. Drive slowly if you see one, and remember, if you see one, there are likely others nearby.

When Accidents Do Happen, Seek Professional Help

Even when you follow the rules of the road, accidents can happen. When they do, it is important to seek the help of an experienced attorney. This is especially true when there is a teen driver involved; their lack of driving experience can give insurance companies an excuse to avoid paying fair compensation for injuries.

We fight against injustices because we understand just how much an accident can impact the lives of victims. With more than 20 years of experience,  we can effectively represent you or your loved ones. For a free consultation, contact our Chicago car accident attorneys today.

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