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Summer Vacation is Over: Follow These Back to School Safety Tips For Driving

  • Now that summer is over, the roads will be filled with school buses, student drivers, and children riding their bikes and walking to school. The circumstances on the road have shifted.
  • Be mindful of school buses as they pick-up and drop-off students. Remember to obey all school bus-related driving laws, and always maintain a slower speed.
  • Adhere to the posted school zone speed limits and time frames. Be on high alert when driving around school parking lots and playgrounds while school is in session.
  • Remind your children to be extra cautious as well as they board the school bus or ride their bike to school. Inform them that not everyone is a safe driver so they need to be on their best behavior when traveling to school.

All summer you’ve been on the lookout for children at play as you drive around the neighborhoods and parks in your community. Now that summer is over and children are returning back to school, you’ll need to condition yourself to be aware of a different set of precautionary circumstances such as buses, school zones, and cross-walks.

Not only is it important for you, the driver, to adjust your thinking and driving habits, but it’s also just as important to educate your children on what they can do to stay safe now that school is back in session. Continue reading to learn how you and your children can ensure everyone’s safety this school year.

Be Mindful of School Buses

All vehicles, whether its an SUV, sedan, or motorcycle, must stop when a school bus is picking up and dropping off children. The school bus will have its red lights flashing and a red stop sign extended from the side of the vehicle. All oncoming traffic must slow to a halt in order to ensure the safety of children along the road.

It’s also important to note that even if a bus is parked along the side of the road or near a school, you should drive with extreme caution. Children are oftentimes very unpredictable and may get caught up in playing with their friends while waiting to board the school bus.

Driving all summer without seeing a school bus only to suddenly see them throughout the week at all hours may take some time getting used to again. Reference the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website to learn more about school bus safety.

Be Cautious When Driving Around Town

First and foremost, adhere to school zone speed limits very strictly. Many school zone signs will come equipped with lights that will blink when the speed limits are being enforced. Time frames are usually posted below the posted speed limit although it’s recommended to drive through these zones on high alert at all times of the day.

Be on the lookout for children crossing the road or walking along sidewalks during recess or other outdoor class activities. Although teachers may be present, children aren’t always cognizant of where they are in relation to potential danger.

During the mornings and mid-afternoons, watch for children walking to their bus stop or riding their bike to school. If you need to back out of your driveway or pull out from parking along the side of the road, do so very slowly. And always keep your phone in your pocket or purse. No message is more important than the safety of others.

Remind Your Child to be Safe

Teaching your children that they also bear the responsibility of keeping themselves and others safe cannot be overstated. Remind them to never walk across the street without being supervised by a teacher or other adult leader. Emphasis the importance of following all traffic signals and signs.

If your child is old enough to ride their bike to school, take some time to go over the “rules of the road” in order to keep them safe. Remind them that not all people drive safely so they must take the extra step in ensuring their own safety.

It’s important that everyone arrives at their destination alive and well. There is no such thing as being overly cautious!

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