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Road rules: Here's everything you need to know about driving

Here's a staggering statistic: According to the CDC, six teens between the ages of 16 and 19 die daily in car accidents and many more are injured. Let’s get those numbers to zero by pledging to be safe drivers from the start. Here are our tips for beginners behind the wheel...

ROAD RULE #1: HIT THE OPEN PARKING LOT
Yes, it’s obvious, but when you start out, consider confining your cruising to a big, open parking lot. Ava pointed out that she often avoided driving lessons in bad weather. Which brings up a good point: If it’s raining or snowing a bit, ask your parents if they can drive you to the parking lot so you can get experience in all kinds of tricky conditions. Practicing only in picture-perfect conditions will make you unprepared for precipitation.

ROAD RULE #2: ADMIT THAT YOU’RE NERVOUS
Paul says it can be helpful to let your parents know that you’re feeling nervous, and to point out behaviors they might be doing that up your fears (ahem—yelling, holding their breath and clutching the seat). She also suggests you create a special signal so you can safely pull over if you need to regroup.

READ NEXT: Here's why fewer teens are getting their driver's licenses

ROAD RULE #3: KEEP YOUR CREW OUT OF THE CAR (FOR NOW)
Stats show the mere presence of more teens in the car increases the chances of an accident. If you have a fresh license, consider limiting distractions by reducing the number of people you cart around. (And remember: In some places, this is the law.)

ROAD RULE #4: DITCH THE PHONE
It goes without saying, but distracted driving is a huge issue and extremely dangerous. A study conducted by Pew found that nearly 40 percent of teens admit to texting while driving. If you need your phone for directions to your destination, flip on Do Not Disturb to eliminate any other distractions.

How do you stay safe while you're on the road? Share your tips in the comments!

This content originally appeared in the February/March 2019 issue of Girls' Life magazine.

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by Girls' Life | 3/29/2019
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