As the school year starts up again, the roads get busier and things can get a little crazy. Buses are on new routes, kids are on bikes or walking and parents are rushing to drop kids off before work. This is an important time for drivers to slow down and pay attention, especially at times before and after school.
More children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location. If you are dropping your child off at school, make sure to not double-park and do not load or unload children across the street from the school. Carpooling is a great way to reduce the number of vehicles near the school and on the road.
Young children ages 4 to 7 are more likely to lose their lives in bus-related incidents while walking. Be mindful of young pedestrians and take extra care to look for them near school zones and follow posted school zone speed limits.
When driving behind a school bus, it is a good idea to keep a greater following distance. It is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. When the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, that means all vehicle traffic must stop for the bus. Children getting off the bus can be unpredictable, so make sure to be alert when near a school bus.
Children riding bikes can be hard to see, which can cause problems for drivers. The most common cause of a collision is when a driver makes a left turn in front of a bicyclist. If you are making a left turn and a bicyclist is approaching, wait for them to pass before making the turn. When making a right turn, let the rider continue through the intersection and proceed after them. Children have a tendency to not signal while riding their bike so be alert and aware while driving around young bicyclists.
By being a little more cautious, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists can co-exist safely in school zones to prevent accidents and injury.