Summer time is here and it's a great time to grab the guys and hit the road to hit the beach. How cool is it to be a teenager with a license, a girlfriend or friends who can load up into the car and head to the beach for a day of fun in the sun? It's exceptionally cool, but it's only cool if you take a few precautions to along for the ride.
Friends Don't Bring Alcohol
Alcohol and driving never mix. Point of order: different people metabolize alcohol in different ways. There are plenty of people who are legally drunk off one beer. If you are thinking to yourself that you are definitely not one of them; then consider this thought. People drink to relax. They drink to get drunk. They drink to party. Relaxation, partying and drunkenness are not states that are conducive to driving.
Teen drivers are also particularly susceptible to two things: 1) lack of experience in knowing their limits, and 2) attention teen drivers get from observant police-- who were teens once themselves.
In driver's education training classes you learned that driving is about control. It's about maintaining an awareness of your surroundings and being able to anticipate the actions of other drivers. When you think of partying, don't think of alcohol. When you think of relaxing, don't think of getting drunk. Hanging out with your friends and having a good time should never be about getting stupid and reckless-- And if that's still not enough to get it through your head, then remember this:
o Drinking while driving will get you arrested.
o Drinking while driving will get you killed.
o Drinking while driving will make you a murderer.
o Drinking while driving will ruin your life.
So if that's the case, then remind your buddy that wants to bring that six-pack they nicked from their parents that they can sit it out on the curb. This is an alcohol free zone. In the State of California, you cannot transport other passengers under the age of 20 during the first year of your drivers license. So you've already got the best excuse to avoid a hassle from peer pressure.
Beach Blanket Time
As you hit the highways and head to the beach, here are a few other helpful tips to make your driving and summer planning easier. Gas up before you head out on the trip; this is beneficial because it saves time along the way and prevents unnecessary stops on the way back. Pack a cooler with plenty of water and fruit. Both of which can help hydrate you throughout your fun in the sun on the beach.
Check the highway reports and target your drive time for before or after the rush hour periods. It's better to avoid heavy congestion because you waste more gallons of gas just sitting in traffic than you would if you could just drive to your destination. It's also a good plan to make alternate route plans that let you get to your destination in the event of a highway close or slow down due to unforeseen accidents.
It's these boring bits of pre-planning that let you prepare for any eventuality. It's also a good plan to avoid mishaps like a flat tire with no spare or no jack. If you have an older car, keeping a gallon of water in the trunk is another way to plan for the possibility of your engine overheating. Bear in mind, however, that if your engine does overheat and you have to pull over don.t touch the radiator cap or anything else in the engine until it's cooled down-- you can get such severe burns otherwise.
One Last Note
Enjoying your summer fun is important. Enjoying the time with your friends is important. Don't let time spent or fun had with your friends impair your ability and judgment. Driving-- teen driving, in particular-- is a privilege, not a right. You can lose privileges or worse; you can lose your life and where's the fun in that?