At Freedom Insurance Agency, we know how stressful sending new drivers back to school can be. Between sharing the road with other cars, commuters, and pedestrians, there’s a lot to worry about. Fortunately, you can protect them by putting the right auto insurance in place. As well as reviewing these safety tips for young driver(s) before they leave for school. Especially while they’re adjusting to the schedule of their new school year, it’s important that they pay attention to:
School Bus Etiquette
Just because they’re not riding the bus anymore doesn’t mean they don’t have to follow certain rules where school buses are concerned. In many ways, new drivers have more restrictions now than when they were passengers. Since it’s illegal to pass a bus that’s stopped to load or unload children in Maryland (along with the 49 other states), older students may need to leave room in their schedules for such delays. Even if you’re on the opposite side of the road, you’ll still need to stop and wait for the bus to begin moving before you can resume driving. Otherwise, you risk a hefty ticket, along with endangering the safety of school-aged pedestrians.
Even when the bus is moving, new drivers will want to give it plenty of space. Most experts recommend leaving a larger distance between your car and a school bus than you would with any other type of vehicle. This should allow you more time to slow down for unexpected stops. It also puts more space between you and the children on board. While the area approximately 10 feet around the bus is the most dangerous for kids, you’ll still need to pay attention outside of this radius. Children are known for being unpredictable—particularly as they’re still learning their back-to-school routines.
School Zone Safety
As new drivers near their destination, they’ll find even more rules governing what they can and can’t do. School zones often have lower speed limits than the surrounding areas, and larger fines for exceeding them. Advise them to approach flashing yellow lights with caution. Not only will these spots likely have a different speed limit—depending on the time of day—but also, they’re more likely to have pedestrian crossings.
Even if new drivers have the right of way, they should still learn to yield to pedestrians. In a school zone, they may be tempted to joke around with people they know by honking horns, revving their engines, and even drifting into the crosswalk(s). However, what starts out playfully can quickly turn into an accident. So, they should take driving very seriously. Along with the authority of any crossing guards and/or school patrol officers.
Parking Passes & Other Papers
Last, but not least, make sure your new drivers have everything they need to be in compliance with school regulations. If they need to purchase and display a parking pass to avoid tickets throughout the school year, you may need to help them with the paperwork. At least for the first semester.
They’ll also need to keep more general papers on hand—such as their license, registration, and insurance card. Younger drivers who still have a provisional license should understand the restrictions that come along with this privilege. Not to mention the penalty for pushing their limits. Try to involve them with some of the paperwork, too, to help them prepare for when they have to deal with the MVA and insurance companies on their own.
Encourage them to come with you to the DMV or review the application (and fees) associated with renewing vehicle registration. At Freedom Insurance Agency, we’d be happy to help you and your new drivers browse for auto insurance! Since we work with a number of insurance companies, we can provide multiple quotes for you to compare. If you have questions, we can work with you to better understand your coverage—and, hopefully, save you some money in the process. We hope you and your new drivers have a great start to the new school year!