5 Back-To-School Safety Tips For Drivers
When it comes time for the summer to end and for children to go back to school, there are two things that are for certain.
The first certainty is that there will be tears on behalf of both the child and the parent on that very first day, and the second certainty is that we will see high amounts of congestion on roadways as school buses navigate the street to get passengers back and forth quickly.
Not only will we see buses, but parents frantically trying to get their child to the school’s drop-off zone in time, young drivers who’ve just got their license trying to make it to the first period of the day, younger kids on bikes, kids walking to school – the fall certainly brings about a lot more in terms of roadway congestion and it’s important that we’re all prepared to ensure the everyone gets where they’re going safely.
Here are five tips to help with safe driving during the new school year:
Depend On Major Roadways, Rather Than Surface Streets
Choosing to use a highway or freeway could help you save time on your commute and help reduce the congestion on the roadway. It’s an easy trick to remove the stress from your morning and also do your part. It will allow you to drive at a faster speed, you won’t feel stuck in between school buses that have to stop to pick up children, and you’ll most likely find yourself having a quicker and more enjoyable ride.
While this may not work for everyone – we did think it was still worth sharing!
Look Out For School Zones
It doesn’t matter what type of rush you’re in, it’s important to always recognize and obey the rules when it comes to a school zone. Drivers in a school zone should always slow down to the proper speed indicated on any signage – especially if the signs have flashing lights. It’s always best to make sure you’re looking for pedestrians and children who may be crossing the road. Even if you find yourself in a residential area in the hours after school has let out, it’s best to slow down and be cautious, children could be in the street playing, walking home, or riding their bikes – please always obey the law and keep the road safe for all parties involved.
Don’t Pass School Buses On The Road
If there’s a school bus in front of your vehicle, and it’s parked with it’s red flashing lights on, and it’s stop sign extended – you cannot pass and you are obligated by law to wait until the children entering or exiting the vehicle are finished moving, and the bus driver drives away. If the bus is stopped and the lights are flashing yellow, it means that it’s preparing to stop and you should slow down to be cautious of it’s next move. It’s important to always remember that school bus signals must be obeyed in both lanes of traffic.
Be Patient With Student Drivers
We all remember what it was like when we first got our drivers license, and when we first got out on the road – it’s scary, it’s intense and it’s something that requires a lot of focus. So as the fall rolls back around, it’s important to make sure that we’re all patient with new drivers. If you encounter a student driver or a new driver on the road, drive with patience and understanding. It’s also important to drive defensively to ensure your safety as well as the safety of anyone in the car with you – by staying alert, and depending on your experience, you could help to prevent any accidents that may be caused by young motorists.
Reduce Your Driving Distractions
If for any reason you find yourself distracted while behind the wheel, you should immediately pull over to the shoulder. There is no way that you can drive safely while you’re distracted. Even more so, if you’re doing something to distract yourself while you’re driving, and you’re in the middle of rush hour traffic while school buses are dropping off children and parents are waiting at bus stops, you’re increasing the chances you will find yourself in a catastrophic incident which will most likely be your fault. It’s important to resist the temptation to check your phone or take that selfie, or try and find your favorite podcast. Take care of these things before you start driving, so that everyone you encounter on your trip gets to their destination safely.
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