Every year towards the end of August or early September, the time rolls around that all kids dread — back-to-school time. While most kids are focused on the return of homework, they don't realize going back to school affects other people's driving.
Depending on when you leave for work or school or head home, you'll most likely run into changes to your daily commute once the school year starts. Whether it is driving through school zones, encountering closed streets, or just getting stuck behind a school bus, make sure to plan for these things on your daily commute.
Keep Your Eyes Open for Kids
The biggest thing to pay attention to when you're on the road during the school year is that there could be children anywhere. Kids have their minds on lots of things, but sometimes paying attention to their own safety isn't one of them. This is especially true with the prevalence of cell phones. Watch out for kids crossing the street or boarding their school bus.
Watch for New Traffic Patterns
The school year also brings new traffic patterns that you need to watch out for. Roads that may normally have a speed limit of 25 MPH or higher could drop down to as low as 10-15 MPH if they are in a school zone. These speed limits are strictly enforced, so definitely follow them for the children's sake and for your wallet.
Neighborhoods may even shut down streets that have high foot traffic for those that walk to school or their bus stop as well. You might need to alter your route during school days.
Pay Attention to Teen Drivers
Some high school students are lucky enough to drive themselves to school, but this means there are more inexperienced drivers on the road. Some kids may be driving all of their friends to school, which just is asking for distracted driving to occur. Between friends, cell phones, and not having the experience, practice defensive driving when you're on the road before or after school to keep yourself safe from these potentially distracted drivers.
Stay Safe Around School Buses
The primary mode of transportation for kids is the big yellow school bus. Busses have a bright yellow paint job to make themselves as visible as possible. While all states may have different laws involving driving around school buses, there are a few rules in common across the country that you need to follow.
If you see the bus flashing its yellow lights, it is preparing to stop to pick up students. You need to slow down and prepare to stop as well.
If the bus has its red lights flashing and its stop sign down, you must come to a complete stop and not pass the bus until its lights stop flashing and its arm raises.
In addition to these laws, you should always keep your eyes open for kids running around near bus stops and even trying to run across the street if they are running late.
Prevent Accidents This School Year
It may be easier to leave a little earlier in the morning than to deal with extra school traffic. Keep your eyes open at all times for kids, new traffic patterns, and school buses if you are on the road. You want to make sure both you and the children get to their destinations safely.
Another way to keep yourself safe on the road is by taking a defensive driving class from Aceable.com. This class is perfect since you can complete everything at your convenience and learn a lot while doing so. What to Watch Out for When You Drive During the School Year