It is very important to focus on safety with teen drivers. They are young and inexperienced, which makes them a high-risk age group. There’s no way to cure that inexperience but by allowing them to get on the road more often, but they can use defensive driving tactics to stay safe while they learn.
At its heart, defensive driving is all about focus and anticipating problems that may lie ahead. Doing so means that the driver can react quickly.
For instance, one of the best defensive driving tips is to avoid distractions. Say another car drifts over the center line in front of a teen driver. If that teen driver sees the drift beginning before the car even crosses the line, they can slow down, hit the horn and look for an escape route to avoid a crash. If they’re looking down at the phone and only look up at the last second, the crash becomes inevitable.
Another important tactic is to put extra distance between cars. This can be accomplished by slowing down and counting off four seconds — or more — between vehicles. The gap may feel large, but it adds precious seconds for an inexperienced driver to react if that driver slows down abruptly or is involved in an accident of their own. Inexperience may make people react slowly as they try to figure out what to do, but the extra distance compensates for it.
Even defensive drivers can get into accidents when others make mistake, though, so it is important for them to understand what legal options they have to seek financial compensation.