It’s back-to-school season, which means there will be more kids out on the streets daily. Whether you have kids of your own, pass by schools, or live in a neighborhood with kids, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind:
- Watch out for pedestrians – you might not see them starting to cross at an intersection if you don’t take your time to look carefully – also watch out for those that ride bikes to school.
- Check your blind spots – pedestrians and bikers can “come out of nowhere”. Pedestrians, especially children, might assume that you saw them and you will stop for them.
- Slow down in school zones – the speed limit around a school is usually a lot slower, so there might be a sudden slowdown depending on the traffic and the time of day.
- Avoid school zones if you can to possibly save some time – if you live near a school, it might help to check the school’s bell schedule to avoid the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up traffic.
- If your morning/afternoon routes go through school zones, make sure you give yourself enough time so you aren’t inconvenienced by pedestrian crossing or traffic slowdown.
- Avoid using distractions such as a cellphone for directions or a navigation system – if needed, make sure you set up the destination and get it started before you start driving.
- If you are driving behind a school bus, make sure you are prepared to stop or slow down with it.
- If you are driving through your neighborhood, make sure you are driving below the speed limit and looking for any possible children/pedestrians darting out to cross the road. In addition, keep an eye on any cars backing out of parking spaces suddenly – we have all been there where we are late for work or school, but always make sure to stop for those cars.
These safety tips should always be remembered when you are driving, but it is extremely important to be extra alert during back-to-school season. For more information on driver safety tips, visit the AARP website and read their article.