It's fall, and that means over 55 million students across America are heading back to school. With roughly 13 percent of those children walking or biking to school, drivers should remain vigilant for pedestrians before and after school hours. Thanks to Victory Automotive (Delmont, PA), here are some recommendations for drivers so that you can help keep not only your kids safe but other students safe as well.
The speed limits lower in school zones for a reason. Slowing down to 25 mph makes it more likely for you to stop in time if you see a pedestrian enter your path. If you travel at ten mph or more over the posted speed limit, it will restrict your reaction time if you have to brake suddenly.
According to researchers, more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. Make sure that you always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before you press down on the accelerator and continuing on your way.
Get Rid Of Distractions
Taking your eyes off the road even for a couple of seconds doubles your chances of an accident. Children can be quick by crossing the road unexpectedly or emerging suddenly between parked cars. Reduce your risk by not using your phone or eating while driving so that you can keep your complete attention on the road ahead.
Watch For Bikes
Students on bikes are often inexperienced, unsteady, and unpredictable. Make sure that you slow down in school zones and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and the child on the bike. If your kid rides their own bike to school, make sure that they wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet every time they take their bike out.
Even with all the technology nowadays, every vehicle has a blind spot. Check for children on the sidewalk or in the driveway around you before backing up. Also, teach your children to never play in high traffic areas or under and around vehicles.
Talk To Your Teen Driver
Car crashes can become commonplace for those who are just starting out driving, and nearly one in four accidents involving teen drivers occur during afterschool hours. Talk to your teen before they start driving to school. Install in them the same driving habits that you have while driving in school zones. It will not only keep them safe but help keep safe the students that are on the sidewalks.
Drive Safely Around A School Bus
When driving behind a school bus, allow for a greater following distance than if you were traveling behind a car, we recommend at least three car lengths. Remember to stay alert for flashing lights on a bus, which will warn you when it's about to come to a stop. Treat yellow flashing lights the same as yellow traffic lights and reduce your speed. The area ten feet around the bus is very dangerous for children, so stop far enough away to allow space so that children can enter and exit the bus.
Following these simple tips will ensure that you and your kids will be safe when they head to school. Have a safe and happy school year!
Featured Image: Brett VA