Whether you love it or your dread it, back to school is upon us. Students and teachers are collecting new school supplies, choosing their outfits and getting up earlier as summer draws to a close. For those unaffected by the school schedule, summer traffic is often a pleasant experience. With fewer cars and buses on the roads, travel time to work is often reduced. But that season is over and it’s time to be cognizant of back to school traffic, children, and buses.
key back to school driving tips
*School buses: When traveling behind a school bus it is wise to allow a greater following distance since the bus will most likely be stopping often. On an undivided road, never pass a bus from behind while it is loading or unloading children. Bus road rules for different types of roads situations vary depending on your state. Always practice patience and caution.
*Young pedestrians: Surprisingly bus-related child deaths are mostly caused while children are walking to or from a bus. Always travel slowly through school zones and heed the directions of the school patrol officer and the crossing guard. Be alert around playgrounds for children darting across the street.
*School zones: When picking up or dropping children off at their schools, again, patience is necessary. All drivers are in a hurry and frustrations can flare quickly. Follow the individual school guidelines for traffic patterns, wait your turn and only drop off in safe, designated areas. Carpooling is a great way to reduce the number of cars in line.
New teen drivers are on the roads
Young high schoolers are now on the roads daily. They lack experience and maybe sometimes the best judgment. Often their young minds don’t consider risky behaviors as truly deadly. A big concern with young drivers is cell phone use. They may have texted or talked on the phone while driving without incident in the past. When “at-risk” behaviors continue without negative outcomes, they often convince themselves it is safe. Parents, teachers, coaches and community leaders need to continually remind teens of the risks. Parents can require young adults to use cell phone apps that reduce risky behaviors. TextArrest is a free app that disables texting and email when it senses the phone is traveling over 5 miles per hour. Drive safely Pro is a paid app that reads aloud text and emails and automatically responds without having to touch a button. There are many more options when it comes to cell phone apps that can help your teen. Ask your friends and neighbors and do a little research to find the right fit.
Keep Back to School Driving Safe
If we can all practice patience in the mornings and evenings, we can all get where we need to go. Everyone is in a hurry and has much to accomplish. Remembering that our young ones are on those buses, are crossing the streets and are even behind the wheel can help keep things in perspective. Slow down and stay alert this school year and who knows, you just might save a life.