Back to school time is filled with emotions; the fleeting summer heat, the sunshine, freedom from educational institutions, and for some, joy to return to a place that hosts all of their friends. Back to school can make people feel many things, and in doing so, prompts a degree of preparation like no other.
When we begin preparing for going back to school, we often neglect to remember the rushed mindsets of others as well. Aside from the excitement, we always need to keep in mind that the entire community is preparing for hugely increased numbers of pedestrians on sidewalks and drivers on the roadways. It’s critical to remember that this time of year is all about staying alert, taking stock of what’s around, and how to get around safely, all the while enjoying the last moments of freedom before the bell rings.
In this post, we’ll outline why it’s important to consider driving lessons as part of your back to school routine - not just for new drivers, but also for parents, school drop-off chauffeurs, and carpoolers.
Freedom & Education
Driving is like nothing else; it’s all about a feeling of inherent freedom that we’ve earned by achieving our driving licences. Driving to school for the first time ushers in a sense of independence, a sense of importance, and a sense of stature for young drivers. It’s all too easy to get sucked into that world wherein looking cool and having a great looking car can trump your knowledge of the rules of the road.
Education about your vehicle and the roads is paramount to enjoying your vehicle and newfound freedom safely, but it also plays a role in preparing you for what lies ahead. Summer driving is a lot different from rush hour traffic paired with school crossings and increased foot traffic. There’s a lot to take in and a driving course may be the perfect ticket for a renewed sense of education and preparedness.
Things you should expect to cover in a brush-up (or refresher) driving course:
- Parking - You’ll need to park at school daily, and this means tightly maneuvering your vehicle amongst others - if you want to keep that polished paint job fresh, a parking lesson is the perfect ally.
- Road rules - With back to school comes people walking to class - this means increased traffic, and more to keep an eye on as you drive. A respectable driving course will be able to help you find effective ways to keep your undivided attention on your driving, not the crew of friends on the sidewalk that you may have a desire to honk at or wave to. Obeying all road rules in this time is critical to making sure that everyone makes it to school on time.
- Good practices - We get it; driving with your music blasting looks cool - but it’s also wildly distracting for some new drivers, helping their attention span to become reduced, increasing potential for a mishap. It’s easy to speed too, as you’re seeing old friends for the first time in months. Excitement and fun often trump thinking about safety, and so a driving course can help you to refocus your driving IQ.
- Texting - Just don’t. You’ll see your friends at school when you arrive safely. Texting while driving is illegal in British Columbia and a drivingcourse will outline and decipher the ways in which texting and driving can affect your concentration, and explain the penalties and consequences should you be unable to leave the phone alone.
before or after school
New drivers and supervisors alike can see the pick-up and drop-off zones at schools as intimidating and the last place you would want to practice driving, but we're here to change that! A driving lesson can help ease nerves of both new drivers and their supervisors, as our Instructors will help new drivers venture through these busy times and areas and alleviate the pressure of getting students to and from school. We'll pick students up from home to start their lesson and drop them off at school for the first bell or vice-versa - picking them up from school after the last bell and dropping them off at home at the end of their lesson. This relieves both the parents or guardians from arranging their new drivers to get to-and-from school and relieves the stress of dealing with that hectic area.
Letting new drivers experience busier times and areas is key to improving many of their driving skills including observation and awareness, manuevering in tight spaces, and speed management. Imagine the bell has rung, and you're outside with all the usual commotion going on: students leaving on bicycles, busses coming and going, vehicles vying for parking spots and maneuvering through various lanes. This can be a lot to take in, and experiencing everything during a one-on-one lesson will prepare you for having to handle everything on your own. Driving lessons that occur right before or right after school provides a familiar environment with additional learning obstacles, allowing new drivers to feel comfortable while increasing their skill level.
A Fresh Start
A new school year represents a chance to reinvent yourself and your perception of freedom, independence, and responsibility. Adding a vehicle to the mix is a welcome perk to growing up, but never forget that all vehicles command respect from their drivers. The habits and skills that you develop through driving lessons will stay with you for the entirety of your driving career.
Take the opportunity to learn from your driving instructor - immerse yourself in the content of your chosen course, rather than just enduring the class to get the designation as a graduate. What you’re learning about benefits not only you - but everyone around you, focusing directly on the defensive driving skills you need to be safe on the road.
Back to school is a fun and exciting time for everyone - let’s work together to add safe to that list of traits as well.