CARZ FOR GIRLZ: Top 10 Car "Don'ts"! Avoid At All Costs!
Want to hear something both sad and completely incriminating? The crash rate for 16-year-old drivers is almost 10 times the rate for drivers aged 30-59. That's about 7,000 deaths a year by car accidents in this country. There are other issues at hand us girls need to look out for when it comes to cars, such as our safety, health and finances. Perhaps you've heard the lecture before, but from one young girl to another, make sure you have the following common sense points down!
#1: DO NOT co-sign for someone else's car loan. The quickest way to loose a pal and ruin your credit is to take long-term financial responsibility for someone who cannot handle their money – you're getting asked because the person is not credit worthy on their own (can you say big red flag?!). If they "default" on the loan or basically cannot make the car payments, you are absolutely, without a doubt, one hundred percent stuck with paying for the car.
#2: DO NOT leave your running car unattended. First of all, you're wasting gas and contributing to more carbon dioxide emissions or a larger carbon footprint. Also, if someone steals your car, you can't really call it a car jack if no one held you up to take your vehicle.
#3: DO NOT lend your car out to others. What are you going to do if they crash it? You have no contract stating they will pay you back for the damages. And when parents get involved, which is completely unavoidable in a situation this sticky, they might be the ones deciding who is at fault … and not everyone will agree it was the driver. People can act crazy in situations like this!
#4: DO NOT let others tell you how to drive. There is nothing as distracting as backseat (or front seat) drivers. Don't allow your friends to goad you into racing, speeding, or making illegal moves. Even parents. Although they might have a serious point to make, let them know you'll hear them out when you get off the road.
#5: DO NOT let a guy influence you to do something you're not sure of inside, outside or around a car. Love – or obsession – has a crazy way of increasing the size of your heart but shrinking the smart parts of your brain. All decisions have consequences, and some you just won't appreciate. Why jeopardize your finances, health, safety, or general future for the sake of going along with someone else's idea? You'll agree in the end it's just not worth it.
#6: DO NOT take that cell phone call or text that message. Or be willing to pull over and park to do your business. Take head many states have laws against this behavior. Getting a ticket of any kind could cause your car insurance to skyrocket!
#7: DO NOT drive when under the influence. Combining the inexperience of driving with the inexperience of drinking is a bad mix. A car accident can ruin your life and the life of your parents – college, career, finances, friends and self-worth – all changes for the worse in an instant.
#8: DO NOT drive an unsafe car. Get that rattling noise or brake issue fixed! Look here on The Auto Channel for affordable vehicles – SUVs, trucks, compacts, CUVs and sedans – and study their safety ratings on braking, side impact crashes, and airbag deployment
#9: DO NOT pick up a hitchhiker or stranger. If you sense someone needs help, pull over at the next exit and call the highway patrol. Put your safety first and your Good Samaritan sense second. You're a female, after all, and naïve, young women are often a target for violence.
#10: DO NOT think a Car Fairy is going to come around and buy you a car. No matter what your parents might have (or have not) promised you, start putting your coins and dollars into a self-created car fund. I don't care if you're the next star on MTV's Sweet Sixteen – take some responsibility and learn how to afford yourself!
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