5 Useful Tips for New Drivers in PA

Being issued your first driver's license can be an exciting milestone for anybody, regardless of age. However, being a licensed driver in Pennsylvania also comes with a huge amount of responsibility and risk. As a new driver, there are a few useful and practical tips worth keeping in mind to keep yourself safe behind the wheel and avoid some of the common pitfalls associated with being a new driver.

Research Available Auto Insurance Discounts

Perhaps the biggest drawback you'll find to being a new driver is that of high auto insurance rates. Unfortunately, new drivers are statistically at a higher risk of getting into accidents, which is why insurance carriers charge higher rates until you've got a few years of experience under your belt. Make sure to research and take advantage of all available insurance discounts to lessen the financial burden as a new driver.

Minimize Distractions Behind the Wheel

Distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents and collisions, so by taking measures to minimize distractions while driving, you can protect yourself and your passengers as a new driver. This means keeping your smartphone out of your hands while behind the wheel, as well as avoiding other common sources of distracted driving, such as:

• Eating while driving
• Listening to music too loudly
• Being distracted by passengers
• Applying makeup while driving

Exercise Defensive Driving Techniques

If you took any type of driver training course, hopefully you learned about defensive driving. Essentially, defensive driving means always assuming the worst of other drivers on the road and acting accordingly. For example, rather than assuming a driver in the lane next to you sees you trying to merge onto the freeway, it's better to assume that they don't see you and adjust your speed and positioning accordingly. By always anticipating the worst, you can be prepared to make evasive maneuvers to avoid an accident.

Obey the Speed Limit

Speeding is a major contributor to accidents. As a new driver, it may be intimidating being on a road where other cars are flying by you. Do not feel pressured to keep up with traffic if you are uncomfortable. Drive at a safe speed and stay in the right lane. This will help ensure your well-being and staying under the speed limit will keep you away from costly traffic tickets that can cause a hike in your auto insurance premium.

Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Trunk

Last but not least, make sure your vehicle is stocked with a nice emergency kit that includes all the essentials in the event of a vehicle breakdown. This should include jumper cables, roadside flares and/or pop-up traffic cones, a window ice scraper, and some basic tools as well.

If you don't already have a roadside assistance plan as part of your auto insurance policy, look into adding one. More than likely, this plan will cost you just a few extra dollars per month, but the added peace of mind a roadside assistance package can provide you with is more than worth the expense.

Everybody makes mistakes as a new driver, but by keeping these tips in mind, you can avoid some of the most common and dangerous or costly ones. From there, you'll enjoy added confidence behind the wheel.

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