Safe driving tips for back to school
School’s in Session – Stay Alert!
You may have noticed the flashing school zone signs around town. As the new school year kicks off, drivers are reminded to slow down through the school zones. After a summer of driving without parent or school bus drop-offs/pick-ups or hordes of kids walking to and from school, drivers can often forget the challenges of driving in school zones. So now is the time to adjust your driving habits to ensure you aren’t involved in a potentially fatal crash with a child.
Tips for driving in a school zone (especially during drop-off and dismissal times).
Know where the school zones and bus stops are located on your route to work. Be aware of when they operate, and if possible, try to avoid them during those times.
The simplest thing any driver can do when there are new driving hazards is slow down.
Allow More Time.
As a new school year begins allow yourself more time to get where you are going until you can figure out the effects of increased traffic.
Make a mental note of any new bus stops or students walking to and from school. This way you won’t be surprised and will be prepared if you need to stop.
Learn the Rules.
Schools usually have places for parents to drop off and pick up children. If you are driving your child to school learn where these areas are and follow the procedures. If you need to go into the school ask where you can park your vehicle so traffic can continue to move smoothly. Never block pick and drop off areas.
Stop for School Buses.
When the red lights are flashing stop. It is against the law to pass a school bus when the lights are on.
Use a What If Strategy.
What if that child darts out in front of me? What if that car stops short? Remember young children are not able to accurately determine the speed of an oncoming vehicle and may take risks crossing the street. Use the “what if” strategy to keep you alert.
Yield to Pedestrians.
Remember to yield to children/parents in crosswalks. When a pedestrian is in a crosswalk they have the right-of-way.
If at all possible carpool with other parents to pick up and drop off children. This reduces congestion and can even save you money. Also, if you have an older student who is allowed to drive to school have him/her carpool as well.
Talk with Teen Drivers.
Remind your teen drivers about the importance of being extra careful in and around school zones.
Follow the Speed Limit.
Most schools have reduced speed zones around them. Following the speed limit reduces the chances of you being in a crash and improves the chances for survival if a crash does occur.
Remember, Slow Down. Stay Alert!
Courtesy of Warren County Public Health 08/1