Summer is winding down, the days are getting shorter, and school is back in session. In addition to making sure that your children have all of their back-to-school supplies, it’s your job to also make sure that they’re safe at all times. This means that it’s time to review basic traffic safety tips that will help to ensure that your kids and their classmates will stay out of harm’s way. Today’s post will take a look at how to be a safe and responsible driver during the school year.
Dropping Off/Picking Up
Dropping off and picking up your kids from school can be a bit hectic and stressful. As the children rush out of their classrooms, the school’s loading and unloading zone is suddenly inundated with tons of cars, big yellow school buses, and kids – everywhere! Even if you are running late or are feeling stressed, it’s very important that you remain focused and take extra precautions in these areas. Make sure that you follow your school’s drop-off and pick-up procedures in order to keep all children safe. Avoid double parking as this can block visibility for children and even for other vehicles.
Always be aware of crosswalks during the school year. When approaching the school, be prepared to slow down and stop as a crossing guard directs children safely across the road. Being distracted while driving or being in a hurry could cause you to rear-end a stopped car in front of you or to drive through a crosswalk, thus putting the lives of the children and the crossing guard at risk.
Speed Limits and Signage
During the school day, different signage may be in place and different traffic rules may apply. Be on the lookout for fold-down stop signs and be prepared to stop. Know what the speed limit is when children are present in a school zone. Not only will this prevent you from getting a ticket, but it will also keep school children safe.
Sharing the Road with Buses
In addition to the road being filled with other parents’ cars as they shuttle their children to school, you will also need to be prepared to share the road with school buses. If you find yourself driving behind a bus, you’ll need to allow for a greater following distance than in a situation where you’re driving behind a car. Once a bus’s yellow lights begin to flash, you’ll need to be able to slow down and stop your vehicle. It is illegal in the state of Colorado to pass a school bus whenever it is stopped to either load or unload children. Always be alert and attentive when driving around buses, as children can be unpredictable and may be unaware of safety hazards around them, thus leading them to take risks.
Be Aware of Bicyclists
During the school year, many children choose to ride their bicycles to school. Although bicyclists are required to follow the same rules of the road as cars and trucks, it’s important to recognize that children may tend to forget or overlook the importance of safety regulations. Be alert and ready for a bicyclist to turn in front of you without signaling or looking. Practicing constant vigilance in school zones will help minimize accidents and injuries.
No matter how much you practice these safety tips, there’s always the potential risk of an accident. In the event that you or your child are injured in a traffic incident, you’ll need to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. Contact Mintz Law Firm for a free case evaluation today.