If you have a teen driver in your family, it’s time to talk to them about school zone safety and why it’s so important to slow down when they’re around pedestrians and school-age children.
School zones are notorious for having kids everywhere. They may run into the road unexpectedly, be crossing when they shouldn’t be or otherwise make mistakes on or around the road. It’s not always realistic to ask a child to be more aware of their surroundings, because many simply are not yet at an age where they recognize the danger of passing vehicles.
So, what should you do to prevent crashes? First, talk to your teen about how to drive safely as they approach their school.
School zone safety tips for young drivers
Since teenagers may be getting their licenses for the first time and might not have much experience driving, some of the rules you should go over include how many passengers they may or may not have as well as how to approach a school zone appropriately. Some helpful safety facts and tips include that:
- Underage passengers outside the immediate family are prohibited among drivers under 18 in Massachusetts without a licensed driver over 21 in the vehicle
- Many school zones have flashing lights and lower speed limits in a specific area. Tell your teen what that speed limit is and express the importance of slowing down at least to that speed when passing through the area
- Another good tip is to avoid using any devices, including radios, GPS systems and others, while driving. This will give your teen more time to react to what’s going on around them since they’ll be paying closer attention to the road
- Finally, express the reality of the situation. Even if a crash isn’t their fault, it is distressing to hit someone or something. Slowing down could help save a life and prevent trauma among those who survive
Teen drivers sometimes get into car crashes with other teens or people coming to the school. If your teen is hit because another driver has to swerve to avoid pedestrians or wasn’t paying attention, then they may be able to make a claim. It’s necessary to talk to your teen about the steps to take after getting hit, such as calling 911 and not assuming fault, so they can protect their rights.