It’s a New Year and many are making New Year’s resolutions. If you have already taken driver’s education and just acquired your driver’s license or have gotten your driver’s permit, there are some resolutions you should commit to for your own safety, the safety of your passengers and the peace of mind of loved ones. Driver education may not mandate these but here are ten resolutions new drivers should make for the New Year.

  1. Go ticket free in 2014. This is such a good place to start because it covers so many areas you may not think about in driver’s ed. If you go ticket free, your insurance rates won’t escalate. Going ticket free means no fines, points or suspensions. It also probably means you are driving safer, and that is great news for everyone around you!
  2. Don’t text and drive. There absolutely will be times when you are tempted, but just don’t do it. Use the variety of apps out there to help you avoid texting while behind the wheel. Tell your friends that it is part of your new year’s resolutions. Count the days you can keep your commitment. Take pride in going text free while driving.
  3. Obey traffic laws. This is different from resolution number one in that you are committing to actually obeying traffic laws, not just avoiding getting a ticket. Obeying traffic laws means stopping completely at stops signs, avoiding excessive speeds, and not participating in distracting driving activities.
  4. Make seat and shoulder belt use mandatory for you AND your passengers. Be the driver in your group that friends and their parents can trust. Let everyone know that you will be happy to drive but there are rules. Make wearing shoulder harnesses and seat belts for all one of those rules.
  5. Never drive while impaired. This can be a life changer and is a critical resolution to keep.
  6. Always let a parent know where you are going and who you are with. Whether you like it or not, parents worry. Let them know of your location and stay in touch. It helps build trust and relieves some of their worries.
  7. Never allow someone who is unlicensed to drive. Driving is a privilege that is earned by taking the proper courses and passing the appropriate exams.
  8. Respect your right to drive. Operating a motor vehicle is serious business and you can lose that privilege quickly just by making a bad decision or by not paying enough attention.
  9. Take care of your vehicle. Whether the car that you drive is “yours” or not, keep it clean inside and out and properly maintain it. Learn about oil changes, tire wear and other routine maintenance issues that can help you into the future.
  10. Always use defensive driving tactics. Watch out for other drivers and pedestrians and try to anticipate what COULD happen next.

Resolve to have your first full year of driving a safe and enjoyable one. Taking driver’s education seriously and keeping the above resolutions will help assure that!