In a few short weeks kids will be putting on their backpacks and heading back to school to start a new year. Just like with the start of summer a new school year means a change in driving patterns, an increase in traffic on the road and congestion in certain spots will worsen. It’s important to be cognizant of school buses and the different standards they are held to. Attempting to pass a stopped school bus could be a violation of state law and increase the risk for unnecessary dangers.
While adjusting your driving schedules may not always be possible, it’s important to factor in the school traffic when doing your trip planning and if possible adjust accordingly.
The majority, if not every school will have school zones that require drivers to slow down. It’s important that you should never exceed the posted speed limit in the school zones as they are put in place for a reason. According to the AAA, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.
We talk about the dangers of distracted driving a lot in this industry. Making sure that your focus is 100% on the task hand will make it easier for you to stop when a child darts out in the street or if the traffic stops suddenly.
Come to a complete stop
Research shows more than one third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.
Drivers should always be alert and watching for children near schools, bus stops, school buses and in school parking lots. Take extra time to look for children at intersections, on medians and on curbs by any schools and pay attention to your surroundings.