Monday is the first day of school for students in Wyoming, Hamilton and Deer Park, and for many of them, it will be their first time driving to school.
Sixteen-year-old Beechwood HIgh School student Hank Birindelli has been driving alone to football practice in Fort Mitchell, but he's making the big leap heading to classes on his own on Monday.
His mother works at the school, so they used to come together, but that meant getting up earlier than Hank would have liked. He's excited about getting to sleep in and his freedom, but his mother said she'd miss that bonding time on the way to school.
"It's been so fun having Hank ride to school with me in the mornings," said Hank's mother, Shaun Birindelli. "We get to talk and chat so now he'll be coming in on his own. But he's a good driver, so I'm excited for him because I know he likes the independence of being able to drive himself to school."
Mike Belcuore of AAA's Driving School in Cincinnati said it's important for parents to discuss the expectations of driving to school with their teens and help them familiarize themselves with traffic laws.
"These teens may have never driven through a school zone and how important it is to slow down, keep the phone away, and pay attention to not only car traffic, but that extra pedestrian traffic that is out there as well," Belcuore said.
Belcuore warned about the two big mistakes teen drivers make when driving to and from school.
"One is speed. When you relate that going back to school, think about running late. First time they’ve had to drive, they’re in a hurry to get there," Belcuore said. "The second one is distracted driving. Where we are right now in the school parking lot, before school and especially after school, some of these kids haven’t looked at their phone during the school day. They get out in the car after school and the first thing they do is pull that phone out. They’re in a congested school parking lot with a bunch of new drivers, so it can lead to big issues."