The month of August is one that brings eager anticipation – for students bored with summer and ready to return to school, as well as for parents ready to get back into their usual routine. The thought of school starting brings with it the excitement of football, cooler weather, and change. Students and teachers are shopping for new school supplies, choosing their ‘first day of school’ outfits, and preparing to get up earlier. With summer ending and school around the corner, it is time to be cognizant once again of back to school traffic, children, and buses.
Back to School Driving Tips
- When traveling behind a bus, allow more distance between you and a school bus. Be prepared to stop, as school buses are picking up or dropping off children. Also, never pass a bus from behind while it is loading or unloading children – this is true whether traveling behind the bus or on the opposite side of the road coming towards it. It is important to put the safety of the children ahead of your own desire to get somewhere quickly. Always practice patience and caution.
- Did you know that most bus-related child deaths happen while children are walking to and from the bus stop? It is for this reason that it’s important to travel slowly through school zones and heed the directions of the school patrol officer or crossing guard. Be alert around playgrounds for children darting across the street. During the hours after school lets out, be more mindful of your surroundings, especially around cars parked on the sides of the roads, where children may dart out in front of you at a moment’s notice.
- Be patient when picking up or dropping children off at their schools. With all drivers being in a hurry it’s easy to get frustrated but remember to stay calm. Follow the individual school guidelines for traffic patterns, wait your turn and only drop off in safe, designated areas. Carpooling is a great option, too!
- Another thing to remember as school beings is that there are young drivers on the road. Many high schoolers are now on the roads driving daily to and from school, as well as to after-school jobs. They lack experience and maybe sometimes the best judgment. Their young minds don’t always consider risky behaviors as truly deadly – this includes texting and driving. Keep your eyes peeled for teen drivers and be cautious around them on the roadway.
Patience and awareness are the two key things we must keep in mind as the school year begins. Plan for more traffic on the road so you will not feel the need to speed of disobey traffic rules. This likely means leaving your house earlier for your morning commute to work. Driving slowly and staying alert will not only help you stay safe on the road, but it could also save a life. Here are more safety tips for Back to school, if you’d like to read more.