teen driver

Turning 16 is exciting because you can finally get behind the wheel. It’s great to have the freedom to drive yourself without having to rely on mom, dad, or a reluctant sibling. You’ve worked hard to learn the rules of the road, figure out parallel parking, and pass the test. But now the real challenge comes in avoiding car accidents.

The statistics show that this is the most dangerous time of your driving career. The crash rater per mile is about 1.5 times as high for 16-16-year-old drivers as it is for 18-19-year-old drivers, according to the National Household Travel Survey.

Although teenagers drive less than most people, the numbers of crashes and crash deaths are disproportionately high. According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers.

What do these teens have in common? Teen crashes are more likely to involve driver error than adult crashes. Excessive speed is a factor in a quarter of teen fatal crashes. The presence of other teens is another common factor.

As you head out to the road, keep safety top of mind and be prepared for when things don’t go as planned.

Safety First

  • Buckle your seat belt and make sure everyone else does too – The state of Massachusetts requires all occupants to be buckled up. It’s not only the law but could also save lives and reduce injuries.
  • Avoid distractions while driving – Having eyes on the road and not reading a text makes a difference. Setup your GPS and review your directions beforehand. Keep your hands on the wheel and wait until you arrive to eat that sandwich. Pets are great company while driving, but better to keep them secured than on your lap or under your feet.
  • Practice the art of unaggressive driving – You may get cut off or find other drivers not respecting the rules of the road. Drivers who respond by getting angry, speeding, or retaliating are more likely to get themselves into a dangerous situation. It’s not worth your time.
  • Work zone driving – There is a lot of construction out there right now. Be aware of changes to speed limits, directions, and other signs. Remember that speeding fines are doubled in these areas so follow these guidelines to avoid penalties. Drive cautiously and if you see any road hazards, be sure to report it.


Be Prepared

 Always have your license, insurance, and registration readily accessible – Put your registration and insurance in a bright envelope that you can easily grab in a cluttered glovebox.

  • If you see lights behind you – Don’t panic. Slow down and pull over in a safe spot.
  • If you get pulled over — Don’t panic. Take a breath. Be polite and follow the officer’s instructions.  If they ask you for your license and registration, tell them where they are and ask if it’s okay to get them. If you were doing something wrong, acknowledge that and explain if there is a reason. Police have discretion in deciding whether to issue a warning or ticket. Being cooperative can influence that decision.

If you have been in an accident

You may feel scared and shaken after an accident, especially if it was your first accident, but knowing what steps to take can help you remain calm.

  • Make sure everyone is safe including yourself. Check for any injuries.
  • Call 911. You are not required to call the police in Massachusetts regardless of whether it’s a minor crash or a more serious collision. However, police can help protect those involved and gather information.
  • Move the vehicle off the road if it is safe to do so.
  • Exchange information with the other driver. This includes contact info, license, registration, and insurance.
  • Do not take fault for the accident.
  • Document the crash. Write down what you remember and take photos of the road condition, signs, and the damage to both vehicles.

You may feel scared and shaken after an accident, especially if it was your first accident, but knowing what steps to take can help you remain calm.

After the accident, be sure to speak with a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options. This way you may recover compensation for lost wages, medical bills, pain, suffering, etc. You should also know that insurance costs may go up if you are in an accident.

If your car decides to breakdown

We know it is nearly impossible to predict when your car will break down or give you trouble, that is why you should be prepared for the worst. It helps to have a plan and a few basic tools with you. It’s also  good to know:

  • How to change a flat tire
  • What fluids need to be refilled and when
  • What those symbols on your dashboard mean.

Becoming a new driver means you are taking more responsibility not only for yourself, but other drivers around you. Being a careful driver can keep you and your passengers safe. And, the better the better you drive, the better driving record you have, and your car insurance is more affordable!

If you have been injured in an accident, we provide a free initial consultation. Call us at 781-592-4666 with any questions. You can also check out our website for more information!