7 School Time Driving Tips for New Drivers

Getting to drive yourself to and from school is one of the best parts of getting your license. You don't have to jump out of bed at the crack of dawn to catch the bus. If you do happen to oversleep, you can still get to school on time. Not only that, you have the freedom to go where you like after school. If you're headed back to school as a new driver, however, these school time driving tips will make it easier.

1. Get up a little earlier.

Yes, one of the best benefits of having your license is that you can sleep a little later in the morning. By getting up and heading in to school earlier, however, you'll find that there's less traffic in the school parking lot--and that means that you'll be less likely to be stuck with that space in the back of the lot that no one can get into or crammed between two much larger cars.

2. Wait around for a few minutes after school.

Just like you need a little extra time in the morning, a few minutes in the afternoon can make a big difference in how busy the parking lot is and how much traffic you'll face. Spend a few minutes talking to your friends or getting started on your homework, and the parking lot will empty out, allowing you more freedom to maneuver.

3. Abide by the restrictions on your license.

It's tempting to just stick an extra friend or two in the back seat or to stay out just a little later than the restrictions on your license allow. Not only is it illegal, however, those restrictions are there for a reason. As a new driver, you don't need to be distracted by extra friends in the car or exhausted as you hit the road too late.

4. Leave your cell phone in the back.

There's absolutely no reason to use your phone on the road that's worth the risk. If you keep your phone with you, you'll be tempted to check text messages, use it to access your favorite songs, and even check social media while you're stuck at a red light--and that means that you won't be paying as much attention as you should be to the road. Get in the habit of putting your phone in the back seat or completely out of reach.

5. Set your radio, turn on the air conditioner, and take care of other necessary tasks before you put the car in drive.

It's especially hard to remember that if you're driving with a friend in the car for the first time or you're busy on your way to a school activity. By taking the time to manage your drive before you start the car, however, you'll find that you're able to concentrate more effectively on the road.

6. Don't drive sick.

Avoid driving when sick or too tired. If you're not feeling right, it's a bad idea to get behind the wheel of the car--no matter what you have going on. If you're sick, or worn out, or otherwise unable to focus fully on the road, call your parents instead of getting behind the wheel.

7. Check traffic patterns around the school.

Pay attention to how traffic flows in the morning and in the afternoon. If you aren't feeling comfortable with your ability to handle that traffic yet, let your parents drive you once or twice, until you're more familiar with how the traffic moves in the area.

Driving to school is a huge milestone. It's exciting, but it's also a big responsibility. By following these school time driving tips, you'll feel safer behind the wheel and better prepared for whatever might come your way.

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