Avoid distractions. With cell phones, iPods and GPS, teens might seem like pros at multitasking, but driving is not the time for distractions. Taking your eyes off the road for just one second to send a text or change songs can make a huge difference in your response time for avoiding a collision.
Pay attention to your surroundings. Not only should you pay attention to the road directly in front of you, but make sure to check your rearview and side mirrors regularly. If you're on a residential street, watch for children playing in the road and other pedestrians.
Speak Up! If you're in a vehicle with a friend who is driving too fast, constantly switching lanes, tailgating or not paying attention to the road, tell him or her you're uncomfortable. They may be trying to impress you, and a simple request will encourage them to stop driving dangerously. If they refuse, ask them to drop you off at a safe location so that you can call someone to pick you up.
Buckle Up. According to NHTSA, "Increasing seat belt use is the simplest and least expensive way to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads." In fact, NHTSA found that more than 75,000 lives were saved between 2003 and 2007 by wearing a seat belt. Taking two seconds to buckle up is the simplest action you can take to stay safer on the road. Plus, it's the law in many states.
Many organizations offer resources and comprehensive safe driving information for young drivers. For example, Bridgestone's Think Before You Drive program, www.ThinkBeforeYouDrive.org, offers a wealth of driver safety tips and games for young people, as well as information on free, innovative programs like Driver's Edge (www.DriversEdge.org), Safety Scholars (www.SafetyScholars.com) and Firestone Complete Auto Care's Car Care Academies (www.CarCareAcademy.com).