After a long six months away, school is ramping up for preschoolers to college age students. While many are excited about starting and / or returning to class, the return of school also means a lot more traffic in the mornings along with new drivers on the road. An influx of college students flocking to Texas Tech, Lubbock Christian, WBU and SPC also increases traffic on roads in the morning and evening hours. Not only do you need to build-in more time to get to and from your destination, this is also a good time to go over these safety tips with your teenage driver, especially a new driver or one who will be driving siblings to school:

  1. Obey all traffic lights and stop signs. Come to a complete stop at stop signs and never run red lights. Even when a light is green, make sure the intersection is clear before continuing.

  2. Speeding is the number one cause of teen driving accidents. Obey the speed limit.

  3. Do not drive distracted. Talking on the phone, sending or reading text messages, eating, and changing the radio station while driving are all activities that count as distracted driving.

  4. Play music at a reasonable volume. This allows you to hear a horn or a siren and get out of the way of emergency vehicles. It is the law to pull over to let emergency vehicles pass when their lights and/or sirens are on.

  5. Share the road. This includes pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and more.

  6. Obey school zones and pay attention to those who are crossing the street. Most school zones have crossing guards who indicate when children are crossing, but drivers need to stay alert regardless.

Although it is exciting for teens to get their licenses and start driving (and may be equally exciting for parents who no longer have to do drop off and pick up every day), there are necessary precautions to take in order to keep roadways safe. Stay aware of the dangers and distractions of driving. Please be on the lookout for potential dangers and drive defensively. Fortunately, teen driving accidents are preventable. Remind your teen(s) to do their part and help to prevent accidents on the road!