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3 tips for avoiding teenage car crashes

There is nothing more exciting than your first trip inside your vehicle on your own. You took the time to learn to drive, and the freedom that grants you is amazing. Unfortunately, there are still many things that go wrong on the roads. Other drivers may behave negligently, or someone could drive drunk and hit you. There are a few things you can do to help yourself avoid getting into an accident.

1. Avoid drunk driving crashes by staying home at night

Graduated licensing is required in Massachusetts. That means that if you're under 18, you're restricted in certain ways. In most cases, teens don't have the right to drive later in the evening unless they have a reason to do so, like working a job or going to extracurricular activities.

According to law, you may not drive between 12:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. It's a good idea to avoid those times, since more people drink at night. Once you're 18, these rules disappear, and you may drive whenever you want. It's still a good idea to avoid areas with lots of bars or places to drink in the late evenings.

2. Don't take on too many passengers

Passengers are distractions in many cases, especially when a person has just learned to drive. Avoid taking on too many passengers at once, so you can focus on the road. Massachusetts law requires those under 18 to drive only with passengers over the age of 18, except for family members. This law only requires newly licensed drivers to restrict the number of passengers for six months and reach a minimum age of 17 or until they turn 18. That means that if you get your license at 16, you can have passengers under the age of 18 in your vehicle after you turn 17, the minimum age to do so.

3. Know your vehicle

Knowing your vehicle helps you control it better. Recognize where the turn signals are and always use them. Know where the brakes are, both the normal and emergency brakes, and practice using them. Know how long it takes you to stop your vehicle, and make sure you leave enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to st op safely.

Another thing to know is where your hazard lights are. If you have to pull over to the side of the road or notice something is wrong with your vehicle, turn them on immediately. This helps prevent other vehicles from hitting you by being unaware of your car's maintenance issue.

These are just a few tips for keeping yourself safe. If you're hurt because someone else didn't obey traffic laws or was drunk driving, you have a right to look into your legal options.

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