With school buses, parent carpools, and children traveling on foot and bikes, the school year can be a busy and dangerous time of year. Since the first and last bell usually aligns with rush hour traffic, commuters need to travel with extra caution to avoid accidents and ensure safety for all. Here are some back to school driving tips.
Driving in School Zone Area
When driving in a school zone area, drivers should remain alert and take notice of any changes in the speed limit. Not only is speeding dangerous to begin with, but speeding in a school zone can lead to enhanced penalties, fines, and injuries. Since the invention of smartphones, children walking to school while looking down at their phones has become a popular trend.
This is especially dangerous for drivers in the school zone – the distracted student might walk in the crosswalk or in front of your car without looking or signaling. If a child appears in front of your vehicle, speeding makes it difficult to respond in time and brake properly.
In the school zone area, crossing guards are meant to be taken seriously. A crossing guard has the ability to monitor, direct, and stop traffic as necessary to ensure the safety of the students. Crossing guards are typically found at crosswalks and intersections in order to allow students to safely cross the street without moving traffic.
To be extra cautious, never block the crosswalk with your vehicle, as it forces children to walk around you and potentially into the path of oncoming traffic.
Driving Behind A Bus
If you are traveling behind a school bus on the road, keep watch for brake lights and flashing lights, which warn against an upcoming stop. The most dangerous time occurs when school buses stop to load or unload children.
Drivers should remain at least three car lengths away from the stopped bus to allow students to safely enter and exit the vehicle. When drivers attempt to pass the stopped school bus, they risk hitting or injuring children.
Don’t Drive Distracted
Distracted driving not only compromises the safety of the driver but other pedestrians and vehicles on the road. Children have the tendency to appear suddenly in unexpected places, such as from between two parked cars or neighborhood shortcuts.
Distracted driving slows the driver’s response time, which means they will not be able to brake in time to avoid an accident or collision.
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