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How to be a safe and responsible driver

It is important to understand that driving is a privilege and not a right.

Once you are given a driver’s license and the privilege to drive, you need to be a responsible and safe driver.

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One of the first steps towards being a responsible and safe driver is to have a good understanding about the number of risks involved in driving a vehicle, and being realistic, thoughtful, and wise when given such a great responsibility.

A vehicle is large, heavy and potentially very dangerous.  For example, when someone drives aggressively on the freeway, goes too fast in a residential neighborhood where children are playing, is distracted or uses his/her cell phone while driving, or constantly breaks traffic laws, that person does not seem to understand the amount of risks that he/she poses to himself/herself and the community.

The traffic laws are written to protect the community and all road users, so if someone ignores and keeps breaking them, there are consequences such as fines, suspension or even revocation of his/her driver’s license.

If a person is irresponsible or reckless driver and causes serious injuries or death to others, he/she can face serious consequences and even prison time.

To be a responsible driver, you should follow these simple practices:

  • Safely share the road with other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
  • Never drive when physically or mentally impaired.
  • Never become distracted while driving (e.g., never use your cell phone or put on makeup while driving).
  • Know the traffic laws and follow them (e.g., always use signals indicating when you will turn, stop, or switch lanes and stay within a safe speed).
  • Understand that when you have passengers, they depend on safe driving as your top priority.
  • Make sure that your car is parked legally and is not rolling away on a hill or blocking traffic or pedestrians.
  • Ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive on the streets or highways.
  • If you are under 18, know you are accountable to your parent or guardian who has to cover all the expenses, should you be in an accident that causes any property damage, injuries, or deaths.