6 Ways Drivers Can Keep Children Safe This School Year

With back-to-school to-do’s on nearly everyone’s brain, it will just be a matter of weeks before the majority of school-aged kids find themselves back in class. But for drivers, it’s the getting safely to class that’s important.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging motorists to exercise caution and follow State laws when approaching a school bus or school crossing.

Keeping students safe at bus stops, on buses, and heading to and from school is important. And, considering how distracted so many drivers are today, it’s more critical than ever. Just one wrong decision can lead to an accident, one that could forever change a young student’s life.

So, when getting behind the wheel this school year, especially while in neighborhoods, around schools, or school zones, remember these safe driving tips:

  1. Obey Drop-Off Rules. Each school has very specific drop-off rules designed to keep children safe. No matter how rushed you might be, always obey these rules. In general, all school zones require that you never double park (it reduces visibility) and that you never load or unload children across the street from a school. 
  2. Watch for Pedestrians. Students often walk to and from school, which makes keeping an eye out for pedestrians during the school year super important. Remember to never block the crosswalk with your vehicle and to always stop and yield to pedestrians when school zone lights are flashing. 
  3. Obey Crossing Guards. Crossing guards volunteer their time to help keep children in our communities safe. Help them do their jobs by obeying them at all times, especially when they are holding up a stop sign. 
  4. Look for School Buses.  When you come across a stopped school bus, whether coming from the other direction on a street or behind one, never pass it. Passing a stopped school bus puts children, especially small children under the age of seven, at risk. When you see a school bus with flashing lights or the stop sign arm extended, you must always stop. And when you do, stay at least ten feet away to help create a safe zone for children. 
  5. Slow Down. Whether school zones are flashing or not, you should always slow down and use extreme caution when driving by schools. Students leave at all times of the day for a variety of reasons, making it important that you stay alert and focused. Never speed past or around a school, even if you don’t see any children present. 
  6. Look for Children.  Kids get to school in a variety of ways, including skateboards and bicycles. In your neighborhood, especially before and after school, there’s a good chance kids will be walking down the street and on the sidewalks, which means using extra precaution when turning and pulling out of driveways is essential for keeping everyone safe. 

One of the best pieces of advice you can keep in mind as school gets ready to start again this year is to “drive like you would want others to drive,” Especially when they’re around your kids. And, above all, don’t let yourself get distracted when you’re behind the wheel. 

Please do not hesitate to contact our office (603) 647-2600 if you or someone you know needs assistance.  We concentrate on personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. Always a free consultation!  

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