Another school year is here, but this one is unlike any other that you have experienced before. This will be the first year that you will be driving yourself to Poplar Bluff High School. It's an exciting time for you, but it could also be a scary time.
Here are some of the best tips that we can provide for all you new drivers here in Poplar Bluff:
5. Know Your Driving Restrictions
It's hard not to go for a cruise as soon as you get your vehicle, but you must be aware of the driving restrictions that you fall under. Legal mumbo-jumbo is no fun, but being aware of avoidable mistakes as a young driver will help you in the long run.
Here are the driving restrictions for those with an intermediate license, via the Missouri Department of Revenue:
- During the first 6 months, you may not operate a motor vehicle with more than one passenger who is under 19 years old and who is not a member of your immediate family.
- After the first 6 months, you may not operate a motor vehicle with more than three passengers who are under 19 years old and who are not members of your immediate family.
- You may not drive alone between 1:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. except to and from a school activity, job, or for an emergency, unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years old or older.
4. New School: New Rules
You may have been used to riding with your friends or parents to school back on Victory Lane, but you are at a new high school, in a new location, on new roads. You're not the only one, who doesn't know exactly what to do, or where to go. So be observant, and watch the other drivers around you. See how the traffic flows, and fall in line. You may see an open street to drive down, but just be sure that you are allowed to so, and that it doesn't interrupt the traffic flow.
3. Be Early
Waking up for school and arriving on time is hard, but do you know what's harder? Being late and having to rush for school. When you're late for school, or even cutting it close, you begin to focus on getting somewhere in time so that you don't get in trouble, instead of focusing on getting somewhere safely. We suggest getting up slightly earlier, maybe grab a quick breakfast with some friends, and give yourself the time to start out your day relaxed, instead of in a hurry.
2. Be Patient
You've had a long day of school, and you can't wait to get home to kick your feet up and watch some Netflix. So what do you do? You rush to your car, and stomp on the gas to try to be the first one out of the parking lot. You're not the only one doing that, and that is where a high school parking lot gets really scary. Not only do you have other drivers trying to race home, but you have other students walking around campus. Don't make the mistake of being too hasty. Hangout with some friends in the parking lot, and wait for the traffic to calm down. Sit in your car and listen to some music. Join a club or sport, and get connected with other students. The 5 - 10 minutes that you wait to get out of the parking lot is much cheaper than car repairs, and a lot nicer than your parent's wrath.
1. Put Your Phone Away
You've spent all day looking sneakily looking at your phone under your desk or behind your books. We're not ratting you out, trust us, your teachers already know. The final bell rings, and you can look at your phone without worrying that someone is going to take it away. You text that cutie from 2nd Hour. You snap the newest snapchat filters to your besties. You see what Pokémon are around. This is all well and good, until you put your into drive. Maybe you can abide by Tip #2, and catch up with all of your social media on your phone while waiting for the traffic to clear up. The snap streak will hold until you get home, so please, do not be on your phone while you are at the wheel.
We hope that these tips can help put you and your parents at ease. Driving is a lot of fun, but also a major and dangerous responsibility. Help keep our roads safe and have a great year at school!