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Safe driving tips for teenage drivers

Do you have a teen who is learning how to drive in a Driver's Education course this semester? If so, you may want to follow up their in-class instruction with some tips by the Illinois Secretary of State.

-- Make sure that your teen knows not to move the car until all passengers are wearing their seat belts as required by Illinois law. Even back seat passengers must be buckled up. regardless of where they sit in a vehicle.

-- It's also important to keep the doors locked when driving and to remain alert to the surroundings while anticipating other drivers' actions.

-- Obey the city and state traffic laws and remain respectful of pedestrians', motorcyclists' and other drivers' rights to use the road too. Even if you are in the right, you could wind up dead wrong if you refuse to cede ground in a merge.

-- Drivers shouldn't speed, but neither should they drive too slowly, especially when merging onto an interstate with fast-paced traffic, Keep pace with other motorists.

-- Leave enough distance between your vehicle and the bumper of the car or truck ahead of you that you can count off three or more seconds before passing a pre-determined mark.

-- Never consume alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car, as alcohol factors into almost a third of all fatal collisions. When a motorist is driving erratically, give them a wide berth and call 911.

-- Make sure that your teen driver understands that Illinois law forbids using of hand-held cellphones or other electronic devices while driving. Only those 19 and older are permitted to use hands-free devices or Bluetooth devices.

Despite the best intentions, it's inevitable that some teens will get into accidents. If your minor teen is injured in a collision with an at-fault driver, as the parent, it will be up to you to initiate a claim for damages.

Source:, "A quick guide to safe driving," Jesse White, Secretary of State, accessed Sep. 23, 2016

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