Being a new driver can be extremely exciting. Getting a drivers’ license or a new car provides you with the freedom to go places and do things that may not have been possible unless someone else was doing the driving. Along with this new freedom comes a lot of responsibility. Here are some important tips to inform you about your responsibilities as a driver and to keep you and others safe on the road.
Wear Your Seat Belt
First and foremost – WEAR YOUR SEATBELT!!! This is a Maryland State Law. All drivers and front seat passengers must wear seatbelts. If you drive without a seatbelt, a transportation, or police officer can pull you over and give you a ticket.
For the safety of your passengers, make sure that they are buckled up. While seat belts don’t prevent accidents, they do save lives.
Cell Phone Restrictions: Talking or Texting
Maryland is strict about cell phone usage while driving. If you need to talk on the phone you must use a hands-free or blue-tooth device. Anyone younger than 18, or individuals who have a learner’s permit and/or provisional license are prohibited from using any type of wireless communication devices.
Texting while driving is illegal for all drivers. This includes reading and sending texts while at a red light. Texting and phone use are the leading cause of accidents in the state of Maryland.
Do the Speed Limit
Nationwide, speeding is the number one cause of accidents among new drivers. If you receive a moving violation (speeding ticket) in Maryland, you will get points on your driver’s license and record. The warnings and penalties issued for receiving points are:
- 3 – 4 points: A warning letter sent by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
- 5 – 7 points: You must take classes for the Driver Improvement Program (DIP).
- 8 – 11 points: Your license will be suspended.
- 12 or more points: Your license will be revoked.
Getting points on your license and driving record will increase your insurance rate. A slower pace will keep you safe!
Absolutely NO ONE should be driving if they have been drinking. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is PROHIBITED EVERYWHERE! If you get stopped by an officer because you are suspected to be under the influence or drunk, you will need to submit to a sobriety or portable breath test. If you refuse to take or fail the test, you will receive a fine and/or imprisonment.
Alcohol-related crashes are the number one cause of death in car accidents, not to mention the billions in damages that arise as the result. Don’t drink and drive or ride with anyone who does. It just isn’t worth it.
If you are a new driver or about to become one and need insurance, contact Maryland Auto Insurance today for a no-hassle quote.