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With school about to begin more teenagers will be on the road. If you’re like most families and your teenager gets the most driving time when they go to and from school, these back to school driving tips will help you ensure that your teen is driving to school safely! Of course, no matter where your teen is driving you want to know that they are obeying the rules of the road.
According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. Most of these accidents are due to distracted driving. In fact, 21% of teen drivers in accidents were distracted due to cell phone use while driving. This is part of the reason why insurance costs for teenagers are on the rise in many states. For teens, this is the most dangerous time to be on the road.
It’s worth taking the time to teach your kids the importance of driving to school safely, because teens are three times more likely to be in a fatal accident in the beginning of the school year. Despite these startling statistics, you might find that some back to school driving tips are just what you need to ensure the safety of your teen. So, we encourage you to use these tips with them in hopes that the entire family has a safe and enjoyable school year!
According to the DMV, teen drivers are the least likely to use their seatbelts. When you consider the fact that they also have the highest accident rates out of all other demographics, it’s something that needs to change. Using your seatbelt can save your life, so it’s something that needs to be stressed. It’s also why it’s at the top on our back to school driving tips!
Don’t hit the road until you’re ready
Getting your license is an exciting time, but it’s also a great responsibility. If your teen doesn’t feel 100% confident behind the wheel there is no shame in brushing up on their skills and practicing their driving before they begin driving to school on their own. The more practice a person has behind the wheel, the better kind of driver they become.
Nix the distractions
There are plenty of ways to get distracted while driving. Many accidents have been caused due to changing the radio station or picking up a call on a cell phone. It only takes a second to take your eyes off the wheel and end up in a dangerous situation. The biggest distraction of all comes from cell phones and texting. A good suggestion might be to recommend the ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ feature that comes on some cell phones. If this feature is not available on your teens phone, recommend they turn their phone off and leave it out of sight until the car is safely parked at school or home.
Don’t drive tired
I know it sounds like it may be easier said than done, but without the proper rest, a person’s driving skills are impaired. As teens don’t have as much driving experience as most adults, this makes it even more dangerous for them. Adequate rest and getting behind the wheel fully alert are going to make a difference in your teen’s driving ability. Drowsy driving causes more accidents than people realize. So, one of the best back to school driving tips you can offer is to get to bed early enough to wake up feeling refreshed.
Remember to share the road with other drivers
Morning commutes can be horrendous. However, they are worse if you drive like you’re the only driver on the road. Make sure your teens respect the other drivers on the road. In the afternoon, traffic may be lighter, but in the morning the roads are filled with people going to work, as well as school. Your teen should be cautious when driving through crosswalks. They need to pay added attention in school zones, too. Also, they should yield to the school bus when turning or merging. Speaking of the school bus, your driver should be aware that if they are behind a bus they should keep an adequate distance between them and the bus and that frequent stops will be expected.
It’s also important to always use signals so other drivers know what you’re doing and can respond appropriately. You should also suggest that your teen leave some space between their car and the others on the road. This will give them time to stop or to respond if there is a problem with other cars near them.
There’s nothing wrong with being early
People often stress the importance of not being late, but when it comes to teen drivers, it’s worth it to be early. If your teen leaves early, they’ll miss the drivers that are on the road scrambling for time. By leaving ten minutes early, they’ll miss the rush and they’ll be guaranteed to find a better parking spot. For them, that might be one of the best back to school driving tips of all!
Keep calm and motor on
66% of auto fatalities are caused because of aggressive driving. Teenage males under the age of 19 are most likely to be considered aggressive when driving. Remind your teens to keep calm behind the wheel. If they are upset about something, there’s no shame in pulling over and getting themselves together. If someone around them is driving aggressively, they should continue driving like they were taught. Just because someone next to them is being aggressive, doesn’t mean they need to be. Additionally, nothing good will come from one driver trying to teach another driver a lesson.
Did we miss your favorite back to school driving tips? If we did or you have any questions, feel free to leave us a comment. You can also find additional driving tips, here.