High school graduates

Don’t Let Graduation Night Be The Last Night

It’s graduation season and a lot of young people will be celebrating a significant milestone in their lives but for some, that celebration could be their last. The risk of being involved in a serious crash is high on graduation night for a lot of reasons;

  •  Emotions are high – Strong emotions, even happy ones, can be distracting to a driver and lead to poor choices.
  • A sense of freedom – Sometimes young people feel that first step into adulthood means the old rules no longer apply.
  • Passengers are distracting – A car full of emotionally charged celebrating teens can be very distracting to a driver.
  • Fatigue – The emotions of the event may cause a lack of sleep and plans to celebrate all night could result in falling asleep at the wheel at the end of the night.
  • Drinking – Many teens will include alcohol and other drugs in their celebration plans.

What can be done to keep the graduate safe?

  •  Set firm rules for the night – While he/she is now a graduate, while living in under your roof, certain rules still apply.
  • One Passenger only – Allow no more than one passenger per car to reduce the distractions. Splurge on the gas; it’s a special event.
  • Know the plan – Know what the plans are for the evening and check in with the teen from time to time to make sure everything is OK.
  • Get a chauffeur – Hire a limo for your teen or have a slightly older sibling, cousin, friend, etc. who isn’t tied up with the emotions of the event to act as a chauffeur.
  • Host a party – Hosting your own graduation party will allow you to monitor the graduate’s activities. You can even provide a place for tired teens to crash for the night.
  • Coordinate with other parents – Contact parents of other graduates to find out what their plans are for the evening; agree on rules and guidelines.
Driving stoned

Students Who Wouldn’t Drive Drunk Don’t Mind Driving Stoned

A recent survey conducted by two Washington State universities and published in JAMA Pediatrics reveals some disturbing information on teens when it comes to driving stoned. While far fewer would drive drunk or ride in a car with a drunk driver, the survey shows that at least 44% of males and 9% of females reported driving after using marijuana and over 51 percent of males and nearly 35 percent of females reported getting in a car with a driver who was high on marijuana. Read more: College Freshmen Drive and Get in Cars with Drivers After Marijuana Use

driving solo

Ask The Driving School Instructor: Driving Solo On A Learner’s Permit

Question: I heard that it is legal to drive solo to school and back on a learner’s permit; is this true?

Answer: No. Almost every state in the US requires that a driver holding a learner” permit be accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 21 in the passenger seat at all times while driving. Short trips to the store and driving to school and back are not allowed and could lead to suspension of your license.

teen driving safety tool

Teen Drivers Face Many Dangers; Parental Involvement Key To Safe Driving

The statistics don’t look good for teen drivers and parental involvement to reduce the rate of teen crashes is more important than ever. Teens are involved in more crashes per mile driven than any other age group and are involved in seven times as many crashes per mile driven than drivers in their 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s. With prom and graduation season approaching, New Canaan CT Police Chief, Leon Krolikowski, writes about the dangers faced by teen drivers and the need for parental involvement to keep teen drivers safe behind the wheel. Read more: Good time of year to remind teens why it’s worth driving safely

Driving in other states on a restricted license

Ask The Driving School Instructor: Can I legally drive in other states on my learner’s permit?

Most states have what are known as “reciprocal agreements” meaning that a driver’s license in one state will be honored in other states. The one exception when it comes to learner’s permits is the state of New York. Under New York law, you cannot qualify for a learner’s permit unless you are 16 years of age. That means, even if you hold a valid learner’s permit from another state, if you’re under the age of 16, you’re not allowed to drive in New York.

Even if your learner’s permit is honored by other states, you must still follow the driving laws of that state and many states have learner’s permit laws that may be stricter than those of your home state. Before traveling to another state, you should look up the driving handbook for that state and see what type of restrictions that state may have for drivers on a learner’s permit. Almost every state has a requirement that you be accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 21 who sits in the passenger seat next to you.