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Before You Drive

Did you know that drivers aged 15 to 19 years olds had the largest number of fatalities in August?

Being prepared is the first step in learning how to drive. The following tips should help you get ready to get behind the wheel.

Do your homework

  • Learn about your province or territory’s licensing process—there may be special rules for teens. Most licensing programs are designed to gradually develop your driving skills and can take a year or more to complete.
  • You should also learn about the financial and legal responsibilities drivers have in your province or territory.
  • Ask your parents to share their driving experiences with you, especially the reasons behind the decisions they make while driving. Your parents, or other important adults in your life, may have years of driving experience and can be very helpful when you’re getting ready to drive.

Be a smart passenger

  • Always wear your seat belt when riding in a car. Aside from it being the law, forming the habit now could very well save your life should you get into an accident while you’re driving.
  • Be observant of other drivers, roadway conditions, and traffic signs and signals. This will help you learn what to expect when you start driving.
  • Avoid riding with friends until they become more experienced drivers, even if the law in your province or territory allows you to ride with teen drivers. You’ll be able to learn more about driving by riding with more experienced adults.
  • Never distract the driver or encourage them to take risks, in any situation – whether you’re riding with teens or adults.

Prepare a family driving agreement

It’s a good idea to sit down with your parents and agree to a set of expectations around your driving. You may want to agree on things like how late you’re allowed to stay out driving, whether or not you’ll be expected to pay for a portion of gas and insurance, and how far from home you can drive. Having a family driving agreement will result in fewer things to worry about when you’re driving, allowing you to focus on gaining confidence and experience as a driver.

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