So, you have just passed your driver’s test and gotten your driver’s license! Congratulations! You have taken an important step towards gaining your independence and becoming an adult. While this is a great accomplishment, it is important to keep in mind that you should approach your newly found freedom responsibly and carefully. When you are behind the wheel, your actions affect not only yourself, but other drivers on the road.

It is extremely important to obey all traffic laws. Traffic laws are in place to keep yourself and others safe on the roads.

Slow down!

Montgomery County in Maryland has a lot of speed cameras. If you do not want your speeding tickets to be mounting, seriously consider slowing down while you are driving. Additionally, slowing down will afford you more time to react in case something unexpected occurs.

Keep Your Car In Good Running Shape

The better condition you keep your car in, the longer it is going to perform at a high level for you. Changing the oil regularly and getting other regular maintenance checkups for your vehicle can prolong its life. In addition to oil changes, rotating your tires and checking fluid levels are extremely important.

Wear Your Seat Belt

Not wearing your seat belt when you are driving your car is against the law. Passengers should also wear their seat belts at all times. This will help prevent potential injuries or death. Statistics show that, when it came to fatal accidents, 56% of teens were not wearing their seat belt at the time of the accident. Please buckle your seat belts.

Avoid Distractions

Having your eyes anywhere other than on the road is a recipe for disaster when you are operating a motor vehicle. Do not text and drive, do not play games on your phone, do not try to change the radio station. If you have other passengers in your car, make sure they are not horsing around in the back seat. It only takes seconds for something bad to happen. If you are paying attention, you have a better chance of avoiding a dangerous situation.

Adjust Your Accessories

Really, this should be done before you actually start driving your vehicle. Adjusting your seat to a comfortable position and adjusting your mirrors are actions you need to take to ensure that your visibility is good. You need to be able to see where other cars are around you.

Don’t Tailgate

If you do not create enough distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you, there is a higher chance of having a rear-end collision if the car in front puts the brakes on. For every ten miles per hour, make sure you are at least one car length behind the one in front of you. This should afford you enough time to come to a complete stop when you need to.

Be Prepared

Always have your important documents stored in your car. That way, in the event of an emergency, you will have what you need when the time arises.

Be Mindful of the Weather

Always pay attention to the weather forecast. Rain and snow and ice can present dangerous driving conditions. If the roads are wet, slow down. You do not want your car to hydroplane. This happens when your tire is lifted off of the road surface by water.

Do not drive under the influence

Driving while drinking or under the influence of drugs is not safe. It is also against the law.

The more you practice safe driving techniques, the better overall driver you will be.