If you’re like most teenagers, you likely can’t wait to get your driver’s license. Under Indiana’s graduated license system, new drivers under the age of 21 must first obtain a learner’s permit for 180 days before a probationary driver’s license is issued. Even after getting the probationary license, however, there are still certain rules that apply to young drivers in Indiana.
The following tips can help you stay safe as you move through and beyond the graduated licensing program.
1. Don’t drive during restricted hours
When you first get a probationary license, you cannot drive between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for the first 180 days. Following this period, you must avoid driving during the following hours until you turn 18:
- Saturday and Sunday, 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
- Sunday – Thursday after 11 p.m.
- Monday – Friday before 5 a.m.
Certain exceptions to this rule apply, such as if you are driving for a work, school or a religious event, or if you are accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 25.
2. Always watch the road
One of the top causes of traffic accidents is the use of mobile and digital devices in the car. Don’t text or email while driving. If you must take a phone call, pull over to the side of the road or into a parking lot. If you do stop on the side of the road, use your hazard lights.
3. Restrict the number of passengers in your vehicle
The risk of being involved in a traffic accident increases with distractions – and passengers are often a main source of distraction. Reducing the number of passengers in your vehicle enables you to focus better on the task of driving. When you do transport passengers, it’s important to make sure that everyone wears a seat belt and that small children are properly secured in car seats, as necessary.
Driving presents many dangers, and new drivers are often especially vulnerable to making mistakes that can lead to accidents. To avoid causing or being involved in a traffic accident, it’s important to keep distractions to a minimum and your focus on the road.