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Best Ways to Drive Safely for Back To School

Best Ways to Drive Safely for Back To School

The kids are back in class, which means the neighborhood houses are quiet and peaceful — and the neighborhood roads are a noisy mess of buses, cars, bikes and students, all scrambling to get to school on time. It makes sense that August (when most schools re-open) is the most dangerous time of year to drive, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Driving during the school year can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you’re contending with all of that traffic when you’re pressed for time. These handy tips will keep you and other motorists and students you share the road with safe and sound, and maybe even punctual.

Best Ways to Drive Safely for Back To School

The Wheels on the Bus 

Between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., the streets near most schools are packed with row upon row of rumbling yellow buses filled with children eager to get to class. If you’re stuck behind one of them, you’re probably sitting in traffic that’s rolling forward at the pace of a sleepy snail. A lot of drivers don’t know the difference between a red or yellow flashing light on the rear panel of the vehicle. Any violation may result in considerable fines and potential jail time. Also, it’s important to stay courteous of bus drivers, who have a huge responsibility, and experience a high level of stress as they ferry rambunctious children to and from school. These pointers familiarize you with bus signals, and keep you and your neighborhood children safe from harm:

Best Ways to Drive Safely for Back To School  

  • Best Ways to Drive Safely for Back To School 2Be mindful of kids crossing the street
  • Flashing red light and stop arm mean make a full stop
  • Traffic on both sides of the road must stop when the bus does
  • Watch for buses stopping at railroad tracks
  • Yellow flashing lights indicate to proceed with caution
  • Leave ample space when following buses
  • It is illegal to pass a bus on the right

Best Ways to Drive Safely for Back To School

Mind your Speed

School zones are clearly marked by yellow warning signs that depict a boy and a girl crossing the street en route to school. These areas usually have a lower speed limit than most areas, often around 20 mph. Be mindful of the posted speed and adhere to it until you see a sign that reads “end school zone.” During the school year, you’re also more likely to see student drivers on the road. Give them plenty of room, and remember to be patient. If you’ve got a fledgling driver in your household, pass these tips along to him or her.

Best Ways to Drive Safely for Back To School

Keep Your Eyes Peeled 

With buses lurching through subdivisions, crossing guards leading kids across the street, and bikes darting in and out of traffic, you can’t afford to have a single thing distract you when you’re behind the wheel. Keep your eyes off your cellphone or tablet, and focus them on the road, so you know what’s ahead. Also, get familiar with the district’s rules for dropping off and picking up your child. Get as close to the school door as you can, rather than having your youngster dash across the street. Double parking should also be avoided because it hampers visibility and can endanger other children. Traffic can be pretty ugly during this part of the day, so leave with extra time to anticipate extra challenges along the way.

Best Ways to Drive Safely for Back To School

With proper planning and attentive driving, you can easily adjust to the increased traffic and lengthened commute times that come with the new school year. Remember, these pointers don’t just apply during the day. Nighttime football games, band concerts and other extracurricular activities take place a few times a week at most schools — and the same guidelines can still protect everyone from potential disaster.

Best Ways to Drive Safely for Back To School  


About the Author

Natalie Saldana serves as the Vice President of Sales for A-Abana Auto Insurance. She and her team primary focus is to make sure every driver is safe and covered behind the wheel.

Best Ways to Drive Safely for Back To School  

Wife. Mom. Believer. Writer. Advocate.

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