Driving Safety Tips:
When you drive too fast, you have less control of your car and have less time to react, which decreases your ability to avoid a crash. You may be a skilled driver, but we all know that the road is unpredictable. Driving at higher speeds can lead to more severe crashes and injuries, which makes slowing down the best way for you to prevent a serious crash. More information on speeding can be found here.
According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for teens in the United States. New drivers are inexperienced with handling a vehicle and the roadway, making safe driving critical for teens.
- Buckle Up!: Teens tend to have lower seatbelt usage compared to other age groups.
- Limit passengers: Just one passenger can increase crash risk for a teen driver by 50%
- Learn about New Jersey’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) laws: This law requires young and new drivers to follow certain restrictions before receiving a basic driver’s license
- Visit the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety’s GDL website for more information on the law
- Check out Avenues in Motion’s (formerly TransOptions) overview video of the GDL
- Practice!: Young and new drivers should spend time practicing with parents or other more seasoned drivers. It is best to practice in variety of conditions like rain, snow, and at night.
- Participate in the Share the Keys program. This program helps prepare new drivers and parents for the road.
Older Adult Driving
One in five drivers are ages 65 years and older. As people age, things like our vision and mobility decline, which impacts our driving skills.
Maintaining driving skills as we age is important for our health and independence. Please visit our Older Adults Programs page where we offer multiple programs about roadway needs for older adults.
You are a better driving without your phone and other distractions. Distracted driving comes in many forms, not just talking on the phone and texting. Anything that causes you to take your eyes, hands, or focus off the road is a distraction, which includes things like eating or drinking.
Here are some tips to prevent distracted driving:
- Do not disturb: Silence notifications on your phone before driving
- Multi-tasking is a myth: Humans can’t multi-task, but we task switch, which isn’t helpful when we are operating a vehicle. When you are driving, make sure the road has all of your attention.
- Hands-free is not risk-free: Using your phone hands-free may feel safer, but it turns out having conversations or giving voice commands while driving offers no safety benefits. Check out our video about hands-free driving
For more information on distracted driving education, please contact Laura Cerutti.
Sharing the road
The road is not just for people driving and cars. Many people walk and bike to get around and also have the right to use the road.
People walking and biking are more vulnerable to being injured when involved in a crash. Licensed drivers have a responsibility safely share the road with everyone.
In March 2022, New Jersey passed the Safe Passing Law. This law required drivers to:
- 4 feet: Give a person walking, biking, using a scooter, or personal mobility device 4 feet of space when passing them
- Switch Lanes: If there is another lane you can switch to, do so safely before approaching a vulnerable road user
- Slow Down: Not enough space to give 4 feet? Slow down to 25 MPH and pass when safe
Similar to the Safe Passing Law, New Jersey also has a Move Over Law, which requires drivers to move over or slow down when passing an emergency vehicle or road work vehicles.
Ice and snow do not mix well with driving. Be sure to take some extra time to remove all ice and snow from your car before heading out and drive slowly. Also, make sure you are properly maintaining your vehicle so it is ready to handle bad weather.
- Check out Avenues in Motion’s (formerly TransOptions) video on safe winter driving tips
- Visit the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety’s Ice and Snow Page