By Ryan Pierce

    With more and more young drivers on the road, it is important that those who are inexperienced learn the laws of the road, and how to prepare for obstacles one may face. A young driver is a hazard due to their lack of experience on the road. Safety, for young drivers and those around them, can be achieved with a good handle on common sense and common knowledge of penalties when caught in violation.

    The DMV in Oregon has countless recommendations when it comes to driving a motorized vehicle. A majority of those recommendations are simple and easy to follow.

    Keeping your hands on the wheel may seem like a no brainer, but it is one of the most important things you can do to avoid an accident. You must keep your eyes forward on the road and your surroundings and avoid distractions. Doing this will reduce the dangers of the road by an astronomical amount.

    Unfortunately, accidents will still happen even if every driver was careful and obeyed the laws of the road. This is where seatbelts come into order. According to the DMV, wearing a seatbelt will increase your chances of surviving an accident by a substantial amount. Wearing your seatbelt is not a recommendation but a law that is very strictly upheld. ‘Click it, or ticket.’

    Another huge way to keep you and others around you safe on the road, doubles back to distractions–put your phone down. If necessary, pull to the side of the road and shut off your engine to answer a call from your phone. Driving while speaking on a cellphone is as much against the law as not wearing a seatbelt. Both of those offenses can bring hefty fines which will drain your pocket of your cash. You can receive fines of up to $500. Texting and driving is considered to be the equivalent of drunk driving by the DMV as well.

    There are a few ways that one may drive and speak to someone over the phone legally. This includes the bluetooth, a hands free device, that allows you to speak to someone over the line without taking your hands off the wheel. You must be 18 and older to use a bluetooth in a motorized vehicle. There are also newer vehicles which have built in satellite phones, that are also legal for someone to use while driving.

    Something else to keep on the mind of inexperienced drivers, is to try not to mess around with the radio too much. You need to keep your hands on the wheel as much as possible and playing with your radio will only distract you, although it is not illegal to do so. This goes for eating and driving too. If you are still inexperienced, it is recommended not to eat unless you are pulled over on the side of the road.

    When driving with passengers in your vehicle, make sure that you are not being distracted by them. It is also highly important that the passengers are wearing their seatbelts as well, this is not just a rule for a driver.

    When the weather is not clear and dry, you should take notice of road conditions, and be prepared to make adjustments to your driving according to them. In example, if the road is wet, or covered in snow or ice, you should be prepared to go much slower than normal, and take care when turning corners. If there is a storm, then you shouldn’t be driving in the first place, but if you find yourself out there in a storm, have your lights on, be prepared to pull out of the way of emergency vehicles, and don’t pass snowplows on the right!

    Many young drivers today do obey all traffic laws to the best of their ability, but ultimately it all comes down to experience. It can take many years before you actually become an experienced driver, and the only way to get that experience is from being there.