Sharing the Road – Back to School Safety Tips for All Drivers
With the school year starting up, drivers must exercise caution to help keep children and pedestrians safe. There are a variety of laws that regulate traffic near school zones, as well as laws to help drivers navigate around school buses. Children do not always pay attention to traffic laws, and drivers must follow all federal and state traffic laws to help prevent an accident.
Tips for Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians
School zones, playgrounds, and parks are often crowded with children and pedestrians. If you are driving in an area where children are present, it is important to exercise caution. Children may act unpredictably and dart into traffic or cross the street in an unsafe place. Thus, staying vigilant is important.
- Stop behind the crosswalk, leaving plenty of room for pedestrians to cross
- Decrease your speed
- Avoid passing other vehicles that are stopped for pedestrians
- Obey crossing guards and school patrol officers
- Stop and yield to pedestrians at crosswalks when flashers are blinking
- Keep your focus on the road and avoid distracted driving
Tips for Sharing the Road with School Buses
Regarding school buses, the most dangerous place for children is the 10-foot perimeter around the bus. It is illegal to pass a school bus when the lights are flashing and the stop signs are extended. This applies to traffic going both directions on an undivided road. In all 50 states, passing a bus that has stopped to load or unload children carries harsh penalties.
In order to increase your safety while sharing the road with a school bus, you need to:
- Leave plenty of distance between your car and the bus
- Stop if the yellow or red lights flash and the stop signs extend
- Leave at least 10 feet of distance between your car and the bus
- Stay alert and go slow
Tips for Sharing the Road with Young Bicyclists
Bicycles are more difficult to see than passenger vehicles. However, bicyclists have the same responsibilities to obey traffic laws as drivers. Children riding bikes often do not know how to properly judge traffic conditions, and they may make unsafe maneuvers. If you are driving near bicyclists, there are several steps you should take to help prevent an accident.
In order to increase your safety while sharing the road with young bicyclists, you need to:
- Watch for bikes coming from between parked cars or driveways
- Check side mirrors and blind spots before making a right-hand turn
- Let bicyclists pass you before turning left in an intersection
- Leave at least 3 feet of distance between your vehicle and the bicycle when passing
- Exercise caution and drive slowly near bicyclists, particularly children
- Look in your side mirrors before opening your car door
A Final Word
As a driver, it is important to remember that you owe a duty of care to others on the road. This means you must drive in a reasonably safe manner and obey all state and federal traffic laws. Failure to do so could lead to a devastating accident. As kids head back to school, it is important to practice safe driving habits to reduce the risk of a crash. By following these safety guidelines, you can do your part to help make the roads a safer place this school year.
About Christian Brothers Automotive
Founded in 1982, Christian Brothers Automotive has set the standard for car repairs and maintenance services. We strive to make a difference for our customers by being honest, diligent, and reliable. If your car needs repairs or maintenance, we invite you to get in touch with our knowledgeable and skilled auto repair professionals at your local Christian Brothers Automotive shop. We have more than 190 locations across the country, and provide services for all makes and models. Furthermore, each of our shops is locally owned and operated. We proudly serve customers in Dallas, Texas, as well as Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Oklahoma, Nevada and beyond!
If you need auto repairs or maintenance services, don’t hesitate to contact Christian Brothers Automotive today.