In many areas across Northeast Ohio, the back to school season might look slightly different from years past. Districts have been diligently working through their reopening plans, making decisions to ensure the safety of all students and faculty in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
However, some public and private schools will be heading back to the classroom, if not full-time then at least part time. Drivers should start getting prepared to be sharing the roads with students and buses once again, as well as parents dropping off and picking up their kids, school crossing guards and even bicyclists as the weather allows.
Back to School Driving Tips
Back to school season in general means an increase in drivers and traffic. Knowing this, keep these safe back to school driving tips in mind, especially if you’ll be on the road during prime school drop off and pick up times.
Watch your speed through school zones. Remember, the slower speed limits enforced during morning and afternoon hours, when children are walking to school or waiting at bus stops, exist for a reason. Reducing your speed allows to you to see what’s going on around you and react faster, thwarting a potential disaster. Additionally, keep in mind that you should never pass anyone in a school zone, and always yield to pedestrians, even when you think you should have the right of way.
Follow school traffic rules. Parents dropping off or picking up a child should understand how the traffic flows around the school to avoid making a mistake and heading in the wrong direction. Some schools have specific areas for parent drivers and other dedicated areas for buses, so find out that information before the school year begins to avoid any confusion, or worse, an accident.
Obey the crossing guard. In today’s busy world, it’s understandable that we tend to rush from one destination to the next. However, keep in mind that the crossing guard’s job is to make sure children cross the road safely and accident-free. When a crossing guard holds up a stop sign, no matter the situation, you must be prepared to stop.
Stop for buses. The National Safety Council reports that most children killed in bus-related accidents are between four and seven years old, and they’re usually walking. When a bus has flashing red lights and the stop sign is out, drivers are required to stop by law. Accidents occur when motorists neglect to pay attention or illegally pass stopped buses. This time of year should serve as a reminder to check your state’s revised codes on specific laws surrounding school buses.
Be cautious around high schools. Streets on which high schools are located will be filled with young or newly licensed drivers as schools get back in session. There may be fewer pedestrians to watch for, but you should still use caution when driving by a high school. Inexperienced drivers rushing to get to class on time may not be following the speed limit as they should.
Pay attention and stay alert. Children can dart out in traffic unexpectedly, especially if they’re running late for the bus or class. Avoid accidents by paying close attention when you’re driving through school zones or neighborhoods where children are walking to school.
In addition to these back to school driving tips, throughout the school year just use extra caution if your trip takes you past schools, parks or playgrounds. Likewise, be alert as you’re backing out of driveways or driving through neighborhoods. Children are unpredictable, so always take care to watch out for them.
Comprehensive Driver Training from DriveTeam
Help keep everyone safe on the road at back to school time by enrolling your teen or employees in classes at a premier driving school with DriveTeam. We offer teen driver education classes and corporate driver training to drivers of all ages to ensure everyone stays as safe as possible behind the wheel. Contact us today for more information.