Teen drivers: Three tips to avoid an accident

If you're like most teenagers, you likely can't wait to get your driver's license. However, you must follow certain procedures before you can obtain a driver's license. Under Pennsylvania's graduated licensing program, new drivers must first obtain a learner's permit and junior license before a full and unrestricted driver's license is issued.

The following tips can help you stay safe as you move through and beyond the graduated licensing program.

1. Don't drive during restricted hours

When you have a learner's permit, you must drive with an adult and cannot drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. When you advance to a junior license, you may drive alone, however, the same nighttime driving restrictions apply unless you obtain a special permit that allows you to drive to a job or charitable service event.

2. Always watch the road

One of the top causes of traffic accidents is the use of mobile and digital devices in the car. Don't text or email while driving. If you must take a phone call, pull over to the side of the road or into a parking lot. If you do stop on the side of the road, use your hazard lights.

3. Restrict the number of passengers in your vehicle

The risk of being invovled in a traffic accident increases with distractions and passengers are often a main source of distraction. Reducing the number of passengers in your vehicle also reduces your risk of being involved in a traffic accident. When you do transport passengers, it's important to make sure that everyone wears a seat belt and that children are properly restrained.

Driving presents many dangers and new drivers are often especially vulnerable to making mistakes that can lead to accidents. To avoid causing or being involved in a traffic accident, it's important to keep distractions to a minimum and your eyes and focus on the road. 

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