September marks the beginning of a new school year and, while students are getting acquainted with their new classmates, a new crop of teen drivers will be on the road in White Bear Lake. We’re taking a break from our preventive maintenance tips to teach you or your teen how to survive the daily commute to school.
Early mornings, school buses, kids dashing through parking lots, and fall weather can provide plenty of challenges for a new driver. Luckily, our team at AMPM Automotive has plenty of tips for beginners:
Get enough sleep- Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as intoxicated driving and, if you’re a night owl, getting up early can make a commute to school all the more challenging. Make sure to unwind and disconnect from video games, texting, web surfing or movies before you fall asleep. You’ll be better rested in the morning. Remember, if you are too tired, don’t drive.
Watch out for school buses- It’s illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus loading or unloading children. On an undivided highway, traffic on both sides must stop. Always be careful of children darting to and from a bus.
Driving in school zones- Always be aware of the posted speed limit in school zones. It’s easy to miss a 25 MPH speed limit sign and get a speeding ticket and possibly lose your license. Obey school safety patrollers who are guiding students to and from the building.
Take note of the weather- Fall weather can bring rain and falling leaves. Make sure to maintain a greater stopping distance between yourself and the car in front of you when the weather changes. It will help you avoid a fender bender if another car stops suddenly in front of you.
The High School Parking Lot- Many fender-benders happen in the school lot. A good strategy is to arrive before the rush—and leave a little after others. Also, if possible, try pulling through a parking space so that your car is facing forward and you can pull out without backing out into traffic.
Safety and Maintenance- School zones can be hectic at times. Having a finely tuned car with reliable brakes is a must. Make sure you listen to your car for any unusual noises and stay up to date on your preventive maintenance benchmarks.
Driving to school can put you or your teen in some unpredictable situations, but keep these tips in mind to be better prepared for anything the road throws your way. If you have any questions about driving tips or auto repair you can always call our team of ASE-Certified technicians at (651)-426-0462. Remember: be alert, drive cautiously and stay safe.