Updated: Aug 5
Guest post by Leigh Padilla, Denver Teen Safe Streets Youth Advisor, Denver Dept. of Transportation and Infrastructure
The warm summer air pushes away the cold and musky clouds of winter, the flowers are blooming, and there is no school. Teens are free to do whatever they wish, hopefully in moderation, and that may include driving. There are about 12 million teens who are able to drive this year, and that thought might send shivers down your spine.
As a teenager myself, I’d like to share a few tips with other drivers - new and old - for this summer on how to have fun and stay safe, while still getting that taste of freedom.
1. Don’t drive long distances!
It may seem fun to go on a long road trip with your friends or to take a drive all the way out to Boulder for the mountains, but newer drivers are less experienced on the roads. Not only this, but they won’t know the new area as well. It’s best to stick to places you know and not go out of your way alone.
2. Be mindful of who is in the car!
Driving around your little siblings or your friends is one way to get distracted! When there are more people in the car, there are more distractions. It’s okay to have passengers, just keep your eyes on the road and try not to add more like a radio or doing other things.
3. Don’t play dumb!
Racing, burning rubber, swerving - these are all really dangerous acts that could cause a lot of trouble if they aren’t done safely. Granted, is there a safe way to do any of these activities? It’s best to stay away from doing unsafe things in a car to protect yourself and others.
4. Walk or bike instead!
These are just a few things you can do to keep yourself safe while driving. Of course, there are so many other things you can do, such as opting outside the car for a walk around your neighborhood or bike down to a park to take in the fresh air. Whatever you do this summer, make sure you get out and get active!