You’ve hit the snooze button for the 10th time today, and now you’re late for school! Your first instinct might be to rush out the door and speed off to class, but that’s a terrible idea. No matter how late you are, it’s always better to arrive safely. Here are a few tips you’ll want to practice every time you drive.
1. Keep Your Emotions in Check
If you’re already running late, it’s easy to get frustrated. But when we let our emotions take over, we tend to make bad decisions. Take a deep breath and stay calm. No matter what happens, don’t let road rage get the best of you. Engaging in behaviors like tailgating, erratically changing lanes, or reckless driving isn’t just inconsiderate — it’s also dangerous.
2. Eliminate All Distractions
Talking on your cell phone or texting while driving are some of the worst driving practices, but they’re not the only distractions you need to avoid. Trying to eat your breakfast, drink coffee, fix your hair, or find the perfect radio station are also distractions that can lead to trouble. When you’re on your way to school — or anywhere else for that matter — always keep your eyes on the road.
3. Wear Your Seatbelt at All Times
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teens have the lowest rate of seatbelt use among all age groups. This is concerning since 51% of passengers and drivers killed in vehicle accidents were unrestrained. Make it a point to buckle up as soon as you get in the car – every single time.
4. Avoid Speeding
Speed limits are in place for everyone’s safety. Not only will obeying the rules help you avoid getting a ticket, but since speeding is one of the top causes of driving fatalities, it will also help protect you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road. Remember that being a few minutes late for school is much better than causing an accident.
5. Practice School Bus Safety
When you’re on your way to and from school, always watch out for those big yellow buses! Remember, if a bus is flashing yellow lights, it’s preparing to stop. This is your cue to slow down. Once the red lights start to flash and the arm comes out, passing the bus is illegal in all 50 states. Be sure to follow the rules or you could find yourself in big trouble. Not only might you get pulled over and get a ticket, but even worse, someone could get hurt.
6. Watch Out for School Zones
When you’re already in a hurry, it’s easy to forget that you have to slow down for school zones. In most states, the speed limit in a school zone is between 15 mph and 25 mph. Always drive slowly and carefully through these zones, watching out for children who could suddenly dart out into the street. Expect there to be increased traffic in school zone areas, and remember that there are likely to be pedestrian crosswalks nearby as well.
Keep Your Driving Skills Sharp
If you want to make sure you’re the safest driver you can be, consider sharpening your skills with one of DriversEd.com’s online defensive driving courses. Not only will this help you avoid traffic accidents, but you can also earn a discount on your insurance rate. Check it out today!