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Tips for Teens Driving to School for the First Time

Many teenage drivers receive their licenses during May and June, just in time for them to drive to school before classes let out for summer. Warm weather driving means rolling down the windows and cranking some tunes but driving to school also requires a focus on safety. Teens who will be driving to school for the first time should follow the guidelines below to make their journeys safe and pleasant.

Planning to arrive at school at least five to ten minutes early and leave five or more minutes late will help avoid the dash to secure a parking spot, which can cause an accident. On the way to school, stop for a school bus with flashing lights. These signal that students are boarding the bus and could be crossing the street in your path so stay clear of them. Obey this law on the way home from school as well because this attention could save lives.

Continue to look out for bus riders when entering the school zone. Proceed cautiously when students are getting on and off of buses and maintain a safe distance from these vehicles. Drive slowly throughout the area surrounding the school, providing extra time to react to unexpected situations such as students darting across the street.

If the parking area contains perpendicular spaces rather than angled parking, pull into a space that can be pulled straight out of instead of having to back out in a lot that may be crowded. However, check local traffic laws before following this advice because in some states it is illegal to pull straight through a parking space.

Never park in a fire lane because this area is designated for fire trucks and other emergency vehicles. Cars parked in fire lanes will be ticketed and could prevent a first responder from getting to a school emergency in time. If the school parking lot is full, park in a safe area near the school where cars are permitted without a permit.

When exiting the vehicle, take valuables including clothing, wallets, and sports equipment. Leaving these items in the car is an invitation for thieves. New drivers cannot afford to be saddled with vehicle repairs due to a break-in. If an item is not large enough to fit in the locker at school, lock it in the trunk or ask a school official to hold it in the office until the end of the day.

*Photo Courtesy of Mychal Stanley via Creative Commons License