Summer is coming to a close, much to the chagrin of children everywhere. The end of summer means it is time to head back to school for another year. While kids are frustrated by the loss of their freedom, their parents are usually rejoicing. They are no longer in charge of keeping their children safe and entertained. However, back to school does come with a view headaches for parents as well as kids.
Arguably one of the worst parts for parents when it comes to school, is dealing with the traffic. Every day, hundreds of parents are all trying to drop off and pick up their students at the same times every day. This creates a lot of congestion around the school, which creates several headaches for parents.
Tips for Driving through School Zones
Driving through school zones is never a lot of fun for anyone, and aside from just being headache inducing, it can also pose some dangers for the students as well. The last thing anyone wants is for a student, a child, to get hurt on their way to school. That is why everyone driving through a school zone needs to drive carefully, regardless if they are dropping off a student.
In order to ensure that everyone stays safe this school year, here are a few tips for drivers passing through school zones.
- Never text and drive. Texting while driving is very distracting, and several studies have shown that distracted driving is actually more dangerous than drunk driving. This kind of driving should never be done, especially in a school zone.
- Be aware of hot spots. School traffic doesn’t always stick to just school zones. Many students may walk to school and cross roads at certain areas. Recognize these areas and learn to always expect kids there every school day.
- Yield for school buses. If a school bus is flashing red lights and displaying a stop sign, all traffic has to stop, including traffic traveling in the opposite direction. The only time traffic doesn’t have to stop if it is on the opposite side of a divided roadway. Failing to stop can earn a driver a $1,000 fine.
- Expect the unexpected. Kids aren’t always predictable, and don’t always act safely. Drivers should always be on the lookout for kids crossing the street, especially in school zones and around known hot spots.
- Give yourself extra time. There will always be traffic in and around school early in the morning and afternoon. This is unavoidable. Anyone planning on traveling through those areas should give themselves extra time to get through those areas.
As far as keeping kids safe around school traffic, parents should teach their kids the following:
- Crosswalk safety. Teach kids to only cross streets at designated crosswalks. This prevents them from crossing where other drivers would not expect to see pedestrians.
- Wear bike safety equipment. If kids are biking to and from school, they should wear safety equipment. This will keep them safe and protected while biking.
- Practice school bus safety. Teach children not to run out in front of school buses. Even though traffic should stop when children are boarding, not every drivers does. If a child runs out in front of a stopped school bus, they could get hit by a car.
- Avoid blind spots. Teach kids to avoid walking in areas with low visibility, as drivers will be more likely to hit them.
Drive Safely Near Schools
As the end of summer draws nearer, everyone is prepping for the start of a new school years. Students are dreading the loss of their freedom, while parents are mentally preparing to face the school traffic once again. Even drivers without students may end up facing the traffic brought on by the new school year.
When driving through school zones, or other known hot spots, drivers need to keep an eye out for kids who may be crossing the street. After all, no one wants to get into an accident, especially one with kids. Luckily, as long as driver remains alert and cautious, there shouldn’t be any problems.