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Back-to-school tips for new teen drivers

Your teenager just got their driver’s license over the summer. Now they’re looking forward to foregoing the school bus and driving themselves to school instead.

While you might be happy about their new-found sense of independence, you may also worry about the associated safety risks of your teen driving to school. Here are some tips to help them drive safely around school:

  • Slow down: Remind your teenager to remain alert to speed-limit drops—especially in school zones. Children are more likely to run into the street around a school, so slowing down and staying attentive can prevent a tragic accident.
  • Yield to school buses: Teach your teenage driver to always stop at least 10 feet behind a stopped school bus. Never pass a school bus when its lights are flashing or its stop sign is extended. There could be a child crossing the street in front of the bus.
  • Limit distractions: Cellphone distractions are a leading cause of accidents in the U.S. Set firm rules for your child to limit distracted driving. Make it a policy that they cannot use their cellphone behind the wheel. In addition to devices, other distractions can also be dangerous. Teenagers who drive with other teen passengers are more likely to act carelessly on the road.
  • Lead by example: Above all, if you want your teenager to drive safely, you have to set a good example. If you follow the above rules too, you can reinforce good behavior for your teen.

For many teens, getting their driver’s license is an important step towards adulthood. However, reckless behavior behind the wheel can lead to devastating outcomes. You can encourage your teen’s desire to drive—but also show them how to drive responsibly.

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