Sending the kids back to school is an exciting time of year, but it’s also the time of year when the roads become more dangerous. The first day after school ends for the summer is nice for commuters. The school zone lights are turned off, and they need not slow down to a crawl on their way to work. There are no more buses on the road slowing down traffic, and there aren’t kids all over the streets looking for their parents or walking home. It makes driving to and from work or wherever you need to go a little safer. However, that only lasts a few months. When school is back in session, traffic and your commute take a major hit.
Be Careful of Buses
The number one rule of safety for people when their kids go back to school is to be careful of school buses. They stop, and you must know how to follow the bus safety rules. Once that bus stops and that stop sign moves outward on the side of the bus, stop moving regardless of which side of the road you are on. There are kids getting off this bus, and their best hope at remaining safe is when everyone else on the road is at a stop.
Watch for Kids
Walkers, kids getting off buses, and kids riding their bikes are everywhere around schools this time of year, and you must watch for them. If you’re close to a school, you’ll be inside a school zone. Flashing lights require you drop your speed significantly to a safe crawl. This allows you a better chance to stop your car quickly if a child darts out in front of you. Follow this rule by always being aware of flashing lights.
Teen Drivers on the Road
The back-to-school season is often teens’ first real experience driving on their own. They got their license and their car, and they are ready to take on some independence. Be careful of traffic around high schools as this is where many teens are driving. They might not be as familiar with the lay of the land and the rules of the road as you, and that makes it your job to be extra careful when kids are driving. Teen drivers are sometimes more reckless than adults, so be careful to watch for them when you’re on the road so car accidents can be avoided.
Remember Half Days
Half days are one of the biggest problems for drivers when kids go back to school. Not everyone is aware of these, and that’s because they don’t happen everywhere. It’s a day when students are released from school halfway through the normal day to go home so teachers can have meetings and work days. These days happen once a month or so in many districts, and they can throw commuting drivers off when kids are out at a time drivers aren’t accustomed to seeing them. Always be careful to watch for flashing lights designed to alert you kids are out of school for the day.
It is also important to remember many schools begin at different times throughout the day. This means many kids are on the side of the road waiting for the bus to pick them up in the morning when it’s still dark. Use your headlights, drive safely, and do not allow yourself to become distracted on the road. It could save a life and prevent car accidents.
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