For teenagers, driving is a rite of passage into adulthood. Teens are often extremely eager to get behind the wheel of a car and drive without supervision. Despite all the excitement to drive, do teenagers have the necessary information to drive safely?

The number one cause of death in teenagers is motor vehicle crashes. When a young adult is adequately equipped with the right information about driving, it can reduce the odds of dying in a car accident for themselves and their passengers. What tips should every teen know about driving safer?

Obey the law

Speed limits and other traffic ordinances are in place for a reason. By disobeying these laws, teens risk the lives of those around them and their license. It only takes as little as 15 points on a record to lose a license to suspension.

Maintain your vehicle

Windshield wipers, signal lights, brake pads, and clean mirrors and windshields are all essential to the driver’s safety. The time and money needed to maintain these features are well worth the cost of saving alive.

Avoid too many passengers

Just because a van can seat eight people, does not mean it should. If passengers become too unruly, it can cause the driver to lose focus of the road, and get into an accident. Limiting the car to only one or two passengers for the first few months can be smart.

Do not drive under the influence

When teens face the choice between calling their parents for a ride or driving drunk, they may make the wrong decision out of fear of being caught. Tell your teen that it is better to come home with parents than to never come back at all.

Be aware of your surroundings

If other drivers are presenting odd behavior like erratic driving, swerving, or speeding, do not stay near them on the road. Keeping a sharp eye out for pedestrians can also help saves lives.

Stay off the phone

The urge to use a cell phone while driving can be intense. Overcome this call by leaving cellphones in the glove compartment, and refrain from using them while driving or at stop signs.

Have a heart-to-heart with your teen

If your teen is about to start driving on their own or if they already are, it is never too late to sit with them and discuss the need for safe driving and the consequences of reckless decisions. A quick conversation today can save lives tomorrow, so make sure that your children are prepared to get behind the wheel.