As a parent, you might feel a sense of relief once your teen finally gets their driver’s license. You no longer have to take time out of your schedule to drive them to school or soccer practice. Their schedules can be wildly inconsistent once they are in high school, but now they can take themselves to wherever they need to go.
Unfortunately, even if they were good enough to get a driver’s license, they are still very inexperienced on the road. According to Alabama Public Health, driver inexperience is one of the leading causes of vehicular deaths, and drivers between ages 16 to 19 have the highest risk. Since you’ll no longer be in the car with them, now’s the best time to give them the following tips as they get used to their morning school commuters.
Know when to stop around buses
With last year’s numerous school bus deaths across the country, bus drivers in Alabama are keeping a close eye on those that try to pass a stopped bus. Remind your child that the only time they do not stop for the bus is if they are traveling the opposite direction on a divided highway. Otherwise, no matter what direction they are going on a two-lane or multi-lane paved across road, they must stop when the school bus stops.
Teens are bound to come across several buses on their way to class that belong to their schools as well as other ones. While they know to stop if they are directly behind the bus, some might get confused if they are traveling the opposite direction on a road with multiple lanes.
Keep the phone away
In Alabama, while all drivers are banned from texting and driving, teens between ages 16-17 are the only ones banned from holding a phone in their hand behind the wheel. Throughout the nation, teens are some of the most common culprits for distracted driving accidents involving phone use.
Find out when your child typically arrives and leaves school so you can call or text them when they are not on the road. Make sure not to use the phone too much whenever they are with you in the car so you do not encourage similar habits.
Remind them they aren’t the only teen driver
Even though speed limits are harsher for drivers that approach school property, there are still a lot of accidents that happen around these areas. Your child isn’t the only one driving to school for the first time this year. Some students even get their driver’s license while attending classes, so they’ll be driving alone for the first time in general. Even if it’s no longer the 100 deadliest days of summer, there is still plenty to look out for before they find a parking spot and head to class.
Unfortunately, some things are beyond you and your child’s control. If a driver ends up hitting your teen’s vehicle on their way to or back from school, make sure you have experienced legal counsel to help you seek financial recovery for the damages.