Drive with Care


We could write a book on safe driving.

Actually, we did: the Florida Driver Handbook.
But in case you want just a few nuggets to share, here are a handful of pointers to keep in mind:

  • Buckle up.
  • Adjust mirrors and seats before turning on the vehicle.
  • Turn on your headlights, day and night, for safety.
  • Stop completely at stop signs and red lights. Brake smoothly, and avoid slamming on the brakes. When stopping behind another car, stay at a distance from which you can see the tires of the vehicle in front of you.
  • When proceeding from a stop: look left, right, straight ahead, then left again before moving.
  • When backing up, do not rely on the rear view mirror. Always turn and look directly behind you. Check all directions to make sure the way is clear.
  • Remain 15 feet away from trucks on all sides. If you can't see truck drivers in their mirrors, they can't see you either.
  • Don't exceed the speed limit. The chance of death or serious injury doubles for every 10 miles per hour over 50 mph that a vehicle travels. At high speeds, errors such as turning too quickly or braking too sharply can result in an out-of-control vehicle. Speed increases braking distance: If you double your speed, quadruple your braking distance. At high speeds, the amount of time available to detect and react to unexpected events is shortened.
  • Vehicle weight increases breaking distance: The greater the vehicle weight, the greater the braking distance.

For more driving tips, consult the manual.

Dangerous Distractions

French fries can kill you.

And not because of the fat content.

Trying to dip your fries in ketchup while navigating traffic is dangerous. Driving while distracted is hazardous for everyone, especially inexperienced teen drivers. Maximize safety. Minimize distractions.

Common distractions:
  • Talking or texting on a cell phone.
  • Using electronic devices.
  • Arguing with your friend.
  • Chugging that last gulp of water.
  • Fighting over the radio station.
  • Applying makeup.
  • Reading directions or a map.
  • Teen passengers:
    Teen passengers can be a major distraction. They may unintentionally encourage teen drivers to speed, show off, play loud music or not pay enough attention to driving. They may challenge teen drivers to do risky things like speeding, tailgating or weaving in and out of traffic.

    Teen crash rates are lowest with no teen passengers. They increase with one teen passenger and increase even more with two teen passengers.
  • See Safety Video

Night Driving

Driving at night is particularly dangerous for teens.

  • It's harder to see.
  • Distance and speed are harder to judge.
  • More impaired and unsafe drivers are on the road.
Driving at night increases the likelihood and severity of crashes. The risk of being in a fatal crash is highest for teens between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Before you drive unsupervised at night, you should have several months of daytime driving experience and extensive supervised practice driving at night.

Wet Conditions

  • Maintain traction.
    Start and stop gradually and drive at steady speeds.
  • Skids
    If your vehicle begins to skid, remove your foot from the accelerator or brake and steer in the direction of the skid.
  • Braking
    Be gentle with brake pressure during slippery road conditions. Avoid braking on curves by driving through them at a safe, steady speed. Gear down for both uphill and downhill.

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