August 13, 2012
The start of this year’s school year is just around the corner and some students won’t be taking the bus, instead they will be driving themselves to school.
Some students spent their summer at Greenlight Driving School in Charlottesville. Owner and driving instructor Sheila Jones says before teens head back to school they should become familiar with their route and to make sure their cell phones are not around them while driving.
“I always suggest putting your cell phone and your back pack in the trunk of your car. This way if you're in an accident your back pack won't fly up the front and won't hit anyone in the car. Always put the cell phone in the trunk no matter when they are driving so you are never tempted to see who texted me,” said Jones.
Jones is not only giving teens safe driving advice but their parents as well.
“If you are use to driving your kid to school and you leave around 8:15 in the morning your new driver should leave around 8,” said Jones.
Jones says this will give your child enough time to get to school so they won’t feel rushed. Jones also says if your child participates in after school activities then they should make sure they are not too tired to drive home.
"When you are that tired it could be equated to driving while you are drunk so sometimes I think teens really need to pay attention to that,” said Jones.
In the state of Virginia it is the law only one person under the age of 18 can ride with a teenager during their first year of driving.
“For every other person in the car the chances of having an accident goes up tremendously,” said Jones.
Teenagers are not allowed to drive between midnight and 4 a.m. There are some exceptions for a teenager to drive during that time such as if they have a job, or if they are participating in a school activity, or if there is a family emergency.
Jones also suggests that teens practice a lot with their parents. She suggests parents should make sure their child can make their own decisions on the road so they can drive safely when they are on the road by themselves.