At Mike’s Auto Body, we realize that the lazy days of summer are finally over, and it’s back to school time. That means waking up the kids rather early, packing up backpacks and lunches and rushing to get to school.
Fall can be a fairly dangerous time of year for pedestrians with too many cars on the road, driving and picking up at the same time. Everyone seems to be in a hurry and tensions can be high potentially leading to more accidents. The National Center for Safe Routes to School said that more kids are hit near schools than any other location.
Five safety tips:
1.) Consider carpooling
Know another family heading in your same direction? Approach them about ride sharing. It will reduce the number of vehicles on the road, meaning less potential accidents. When you are in charge of the carpool, ensure passengers buckle up. Seat belts save thousands of lives every year, not to mention it’s the law.
2.) Obey the rules
Always abide by the speed limit, especially in school zones, which are usually between 15 and 25 mph. Yield to merging buses and follow a safe distance behind as they often stop unexpectedly. Avoid double parking, which blocks visibility and never load or unload children from across the street.
3.) Talk to your children
Take the time to go over drop off and pick up procedures with your children. Remind them to stay inside crosswalks, watch their surroundings and always walk in front of buses and cars, never behind. According to the Safe Routes to Schools, a nonprofit safety organization, 33 percent of youth pedestrian crashes are from kids darting out into the road.
4.) Take extra precautions
Always be aware of your surroundings in case a car stop suddenly or slows down to drop off children. Whether or not you have the right-of-way, always be cautious so you don’t accidentally hit a pedestrian. If you need extra time during drop-off, turn on your hazard lights.
5.) Be courteous
Slow down and pay attention when entering a school zone and kids are present. Turn off your phone and focus your full attention on the road; a call or text can wait. Whenever you are at a red light or ready to turn, don’t block the crosswalk and refrain from passing other vehicles stopping for pedestrians. Always be patient and tolerant of drivers.
A little defensive driving can go a long way to ensure everyone is safe, so follow these simple suggestions and have a safe back to school season. This community blog is brought to you by all of us at Mike’s Auto Body.
Sources: NHTSA and AAA