It’s Back To School Time, Safety Pays
School is back in session: buses are picking up and dropping off kids, kids on bikes are riding their way to class on their own, and stressed out parents are trying to negotiate the ever-present drop off line. Now more than ever, it’s time to slow down and pay extra special attention to kids. This is especially true in the early morning and afternoon hours.
The Drop Off Line
Until you are a parent, you don’t realize how stressful drop-off lines are at schools. Lines of parents eager to get their kids to school on time, administrators and teachers directing traffic. Crossing guards shepherding their young charges across the streets. It doesn’t have to be a time for danger if you follow some really simple rules:
- Pay attention to designated parking areas. Don’t double park or just stop in the middle of a street. This reduces visibility and increases the chances of a child darting out unseen into traffic.
- Don’t load or unload kids directly in front of the school. Schools have designated areas for a reason.
- Carpooling really helps with reducing congestion and stress and improves safety.
- Listen and watch for crossing guards and school staff. Their instructions can help save a life.
Sharing Means Caring On The Road
Most children that lose their lives range from ages 4-7 and were walking. These accidents usually involve a bus. Either the kids get hit by a car illegally passing a bus or they get hit by the bus.
- Kids are kids and don’t always cross the road where they should. It’s always better to assume they’ll just cross in front of you than miss someone that crosses improperly.
- If your kids take the bus, make sure that they know the rules for safe bus ridership. Don’t just tell them once, you know that never works.
- Never ever block crosswalks. Doing so forces kids to go out of the designated walking area into traffic. This can also lead to some serious fines.
- If you see the school zone signs blinking, slow down, and always yield to walkers. Remember, kids don’t always cross at the crosswalk like they are supposed to so be extra careful.
- Crossing guards have a really important job. Show them the respect they very much deserve and listen to their instructions.
- If you happen to drive by a park, realize that you are in an area with LOTS of children usually, so give extra caution.
If you’re driving behind a bus, give them some space. They have precious cargo on board and frequently and unexpectedly stop. Doing this helps you prepare to stop when their lights start flashing. Remember, it’s illegal and a very expensive ticket to pass a bus with flashing lights.
- School buses may be slow, especially if you’re in a hurry, but realize they have precious cargo. So please, give them a break.
- Give buses some extra breathing room compared to cars. They frequently stop so anticipate that happening.
- If a buses lights are flashing, STOP. Don’t pass them. It’s illegal. Even if you don’t see any kids, you could be breaking the law and endangering a child.
- If you pass a bus, even if their lights are not flashing, be extra careful since the 10-foot area in front of the bus is a real danger zone. Sometimes kids dart out in front of the bus unexpectedly.
Bikes present freedom that most kids love. They are usually on their own for the very first time, are in a hurry to get to/from school, and are not paying attention.
- To pass a bicyclist, just go in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist
- Most accidents with cyclists occur when the car is turning left. So, if you are turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the bicyclist to pass
- If you’re turning right and a bicyclist is approaching from behind on the right, let them go first and make sure you use your signal.
- Cyclists are supposed to follow all traffic laws including signaling, but kids don’t signal always so always expect the unexpected
- School zones are dangerous since there are lots of kids and they don’t always use the crosswalks
- Kids can come flying down driveways unexpectedly and from behind parked cars
- If you are parking near a school, quadruple check you mirrors before you open your door since you could catch a kid with your door.
Jeff Davis Is Here 4 You!
We always want you to drive safely. Remember to be aware of your surroundings, minimize your distractions, and pay attention to proper school bus protocol. Should you find yourself in need of a personal injury lawyer, you can always contact us at (210) 444-4444, (956) 444-4444 or (361) 999-9999. Davis Law Firm is here 24/7 for you! Our team of legal representatives offer free initial consultation.
Great Resources For Learning More About School Safety: