Whether you’re driving around your college campus or making the long journey home along the highways and busy roads, it’s easy to forget some of the things that you learned in Driver’s Ed class—especially if that was back in high school. Being a safe driver while you’re in college and continuing a long-lasting streak of incident-free driving will keep you confident behind the wheel and lessen the likelihood of an accident. By taking these top three safety considerations while driving to heart, you’ll keep honing your driving skills and become an even more reliable navigator.
Become Aware of Your Surroundings
As a college student, you may be trying to learn more about your new location if it’s far away from home. If you keep a car at school, take time to drive around campus or around town to get a feel for directions and road names. Always keep one major road in the back of your mind so you can find your way back if you become lost.
Keep an eye on the congested parts of the area, including popular crosswalks and busy intersections. Remember that you must stop for pedestrians at a crosswalk, and you must stop before the crosswalk at a four-way stop.
While learning the area, you may pass by local hotspots and dives. Search for a new favorite and memorize these locations to meet up with friends later!
Have Rules for Passengers
Unsafe driving often happens when passengers distract the driver from the road. You don’t need to shy away from giving peers a ride, but it’s important to set boundaries when they’re in your vehicle. Consider whether it’s safer to drive with or without another person in the car before you get behind the wheel.
You may need another person with you to navigate when you’re going somewhere new—which can prevent hazardous distractions and help you get to your destination safely. Other times, it may not be safe to have someone in the passenger seat right next to you; if you drive home a drunk friend, it may be best to have them sit in the back seat.
Make sure passengers know what not to do when in your vehicle. You may not enjoy loud conversation or music while you drive—sometimes you need to remind friends about proper passenger etiquette.
Minimize Your Distractions
Lastly on this list of top three safety considerations while driving, always try to minimize how many distractions you have while you drive. Keep your phone out of sight and only fiddle with the radio or music choice after stopping the vehicle. Don’t try to finish up an assignment while you’re driving, and avoid being late to class to keep yourself calm as you drive.
Getting distracted by anything while you’re behind the wheel can put yourself and others needlessly in danger—always ask yourself if it’d be better to pull over if you need to do something urgently while in the car.