Back to School Safety Tips

With a new school year starting many drivers are faced with a change in driving habits and experiences. Just getting to work in the morning can become a challenge with wandering children, school crossing guards, busses and congested streets. Another new adventure for many families is having a young adult venture off to college. Here are some simple tips to keep everyone safe this season.

Safe Driving on Local Roads:

Remember that children are easily distracted and very excited about starting school. Chances are they won’t see you. Pay attention to them and be prepared, especially when near a stopped school bus.

When driving on an undivided road you are required to come to a complete stop when a school bus has its red lights on. On a divided road you must stop when traveling the same direction as the school bus and pay extra attention when traveling the opposite way. These laws vary from state to state, but protecting our children is a priority everywhere.

Don’t text or use your cell phone in a school zone. OK… YOU SHOULD NOT TEXT ANY TIME YOU ARE DRIVING and IT IS ILLEGAL IN A SCHOOL ZONE. There is a great application that you can install on both yours and your family’s phones called Detext. It uses GPS to determine if the phone is in motion and disables texting until you come to a stop. Another really great feature of Detext is that when you receive a text it automatically sends a response letting everyone know you will return their text later . Your friends will be very impressed by your safe driving habits!

Use extra caution when driving through your neighborhood. Many students walk from their homes without the aid of a crossing guard. Keep your eyes open and ready to stop even when you are blocks away from a school.

Don’t be in a hurry, with school starting the roads will be more congested with vehicles and pedestrians. Allow some extra time, be extra courteous, and be extra aware.

Getting Your Student and Their Vehicle Ready for College:

Start by getting the vehicle that your student is driving checked out from head to toe (bumper to bumper that is). Freedom Automotive will do that at absolutely no charge.

Handling basic maintenance at a garage you trust will help prevent breakdowns and repairs while your young driver is away from home. Fresh fluids, a close inspection of belts and hoses, and even a new set of wiper blades will go a long way in easing your mind.

Help you r student understand their vehicle. Show them how to inspect their tires for damage, wear and how to check the tire pressure. Pop the hood and show them how to check their fluid levels. This used to be simple, but could be more confusing than you think.

Make sure that all of the lights and accessories are working and help your student check the blinkers, headlights and brake lights. Take a moment to refresh their memory on what the gauges and dash lights mean.

Want some help? Just stop by Freedom Automotive and we will go through the basics with both you and your student. You can also stop by and pick up our snazzy “Back To School Check List.” .You can also email us john@thecarcounselor.com and we will send you one to download and print. A few moments in the driveway will go a long way in preparing your student for their new adventure. Put it in the glove compartment and let them know they can call us for advice while they are away from home. Give us a quick call and we will help you find a qualified shop in the college town your student will be living in.

Whether you are driving through the neighborhood or are embarking on the great adventure of college in a new town the friendly staff at Freedom Automotive is always ready to help.

Wishing you miles and miles of happy driving, Lynn Beckwith, That Car Lady

lynn studio 8-1-13