Both of my daughters start their fall college classes in a few short weeks. This year, I have two student drivers that I
Our girls are commuter students and make the drive back and forth to campus each day. I know they are already dreading the back-to-school traffic jams. They have to make sure to leave early enough each morning to secure a decent parking spot in the garage, as well as avoid getting stuck in traffic. I don't know what it is about a college campus that seems to make drivers really impatient (and crazy). I'm constantly telling my daughters to be mindful of their speed and allow enough space for sudden stops that they may have to make. Trust me, driving around a college campus means a whole lot of slamming on brakes will be happening daily. I've been on the road around the University during peak school hours and my nerves are usually shot.
This is why it is very important to have general safety checks before having them take the car back to school. We have a thorough inspection done on the brakes, tires, alignment, lights/signals, fluids and more. I think if you start with having peace of mind that the car is safe to drive, it helps your teens feel more secure. One of the biggest things I try to help the girls remember is that you have to keep a cool head when driving. Being one to get overly defensive about and angry over every little thing other drivers do that you don't agree with makes driving stressful. Calm and collected is the way to go.
Another thing we stress to the girls is not having distracting things that can obstruct your view from all angles. I know they love to show their school pride by sporting flags, decals, and other adornments, but this can backfire on you. If you can't see clearly, you are not going to have a safe driving experience. I know they get a tad annoyed with us, but we are all about safety first. Being cute doesn't matter if you're not being smart.
One more important thing to help your teens drive safely at college is to be sure they have an emergency kit packed in the trunk. Jumper cables, portable battery charger, and phone charger to name a few are helpful if your tire is low on air or the car won't start. The girls know that they should only use the phone in the car for emergencies. Calls can wait. Texts can wait. Both me and my husband try to be the best role models for all of our children and practice what we preach. We do not talk on the phone while driving. No matter how good of a driver you think you are, it is really easy to get distracted.
Ultimately, it is so important for parents with college students to instill values and the urgency of safety and following rules. Are you a parent of a college student or have a high school senior preparing for their next journey? You can share your stories or moments on social media using the #BeThereMoments hashtag and check out the stories on the Be There Moments website by Michelin.