Road trip! 7 safe-driving tips for new graduates

Whether they’re graduating from high school or college, many new graduates will be on the roads this summer to celebrate their hard work.

From parties to weekend getaways to road trips, young drivers will be on the road often this summer and need to keep some safety tips in mind.

From buckling up to avoiding distracted driving, there are simple safety precautions teens and young adults can take to prevent accidents. According to the National Safety Council, car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens, with more than half of the teens killed in car crashes found not to have been wearing a seatbelt.

Here are some safe driving tips for new graduates from the Chicago-based Property Casualty Insurers Association of America:

Cash

(Photo: iStock)

1. Beware of crash taxes

It’s been banned or limited in several states, but many states, cities, counties, and fire districts will charge the at-fault driver for emergency response costs in an auto accident. According to PCI, fees can range from $100 to over $2,000 for response services, with the average cost being $200. A typical Auto insurance policy does not cover the cost of a fire truck responding to an accident.

Seat belt

(Photo: iStock)

2. Buckle up!

Seatbelts are so important for safety on any car ride, whether it’s a summer getaway or simply running errands around town.

Encourage young drivers to buckle up and be prepared for other drivers on the road who may not wear their own.

Smartphone map

(Photo: iStock)

3. Plan extra travel time

More people are on the roads during the summer months, often driving in unfamiliar areas.

Not surprisingly, this increases the potential for traffic crashes. Encourage young drivers to plan routes in advance when traveling to new destinations, be patient, and allow for extra travel time.

Speed zone

(Photo: iStock)

4. Follow the speed limit!

Driving fast may be fun and risqué to young drivers, but make sure they understand the consequences.

Encourage teen and younger clients to stay focused on the road and be aware of changing traffic patterns caused by construction.

Stress the importance of being cautious of the construction workers themselves, who are often in close proximity to the highway — and at great risk.

Distracted driving

(Photo: iStock)

5. Don’t drive distracted!

Between cellphones and coffee drinks topped with whipped cream, young drivers are prone to drive distracted.

When a group of people are traveling in one vehicle, the chance of distraction is multiplied. Remind young drivers to put the phone down and never text while driving, as well as to be careful when eating on the run, as lunch can be just as distracting as a cell phone.

Roadside assistance

(Photo: iStock)

6. Have a plan for roadside assistance

If a young driver is involved in an auto accident, make sure they have a roadside assistance plan.

Have the phone number for the driver’s insurer or a roadside assistance program on hand for young drivers so they know who to call and can avoid dealing with unscrupulous towing companies.

Some companies can take advantage of drivers after an accident and can charge excessive fees or give complications when a driver recovers their car from the tow yard.

Traffic citation

(Photo: iStock)

7. Update proof of insurance

Before hitting the road, make sure young drivers have replaced any expired insurance identification cards in the event they need to prove you have insurance during a traffic stop

Jun 06, 2016 | By Caterina Pontoriero

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