Teen boy driver behind the wheelIt is already August and there are “back to school” signs up everywhere to remind you and your kids that school is right around the corner!  Preparing for back to school is more than just buying pens, pencils, clothes, and books.  For those parents who have teen drivers in the household, it means your teen MAY be driving to and from school and safety must be enforced.  Back to school driving tips for parents and teen drivers is a must to discuss!

Common Factors That May Lead to Accidents

There are many contributing factors that may increase the risk of an accident for teen drivers.  Regardless of how much driving your teen has done, there is still the inexperience-factor that each and every teen driver has!  Below are some additional factors, but not limited to:

  •  Distracted driving (Texting and talking on cell phones)
  •  Speeding
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way at stop sign

Zone in on the Zones

You are supposed to travel safely when you are in a school zone, but do you think all teens do?  Not all people travel safely and slow down to the posted 25 mph speed limit signs in a school zone, so it should be a topic of conversation BEFORE school starts.  Don’t assume your teen is conscious of the school zones and the laws related to them just because he/she passes through them frequently.

BEFORE school starts, zone in on the school zones around the travel area of your teen.  Remind your teen of the 25 mph speed limit through those areas regardless of time of day, as well as safety at the cross walks.  Emphasize that a kid can run into your path in a split second so if you aren’t paying attention, it could be deadly!

Stop for Buses

There is no way your teen driver can avoid school buses while your teen is traveling to and from school, so please inform/review all school bus laws with your teenage driver.  Some factors to emphasize for safety include:

  • Slow down when there is a school bus in front of you (never tailgate)
  • Never pass a stopped school bus
  • Watch for children getting on/off the bus

These are just some of the school bus issues you need to share with your teen to ensure all around safety on the roads.

Leave Your Distractions at Home

While it is easy to be tempted to answer that ringing cell phone, return a text, or change the song on the radio while driving, it is important to stress the importance of leaving these devices at home if they are impairing your teenagers driving.  The focus needs to stay on the road.  Your teen may need to be reminded of this on multiple occasions.  Also, remind your teen to leave the home in plenty of time to allow for traffic and school buses.

School is truly right around the corner.  We wish you and your family a safe school year!