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Back to School Safety Tips for Drivers

SamSam

As the end of summer quickly approaches, so does the back to school season. While the current COVID-19 global pandemic has caused each school to reevaluate opening their doors, the back to school season may be different than years past.

Whatever decision leaders make regarding individual schools, it is important to anticipate how those changes will affect you and your family. Keeping schools closed could mean finding a new normal for schoolwork and extracurricular activities outside the home. Schools opening could mean scheduling pick-ups and drop-offs as well as navigating roadways around school. 

Either way, the back to school season does have an effect on the roadways. In this article, we’ll discuss 3 back to school safety tips for drivers to ensure you and your loved ones are safe on the road, wherever your destination may be.

Watch for Pedestrians

Because of their lack of protection, pedestrians are most at risk on American roadways. Children and elderly persons are especially at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  pedestrians aged 65 and older accounted for 20% of all pedestrian deaths in 2017. In the same year, one in every five children under the age of 15 killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians. 

When driving, there are a few precautions that can ultimately save a life:

“When cars think they have the right of way, they are less likely to watch for pedestrians.,” note Las Vegas injury attorneys from Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, “Pedestrians have the right of way. This includes unmarked crosswalks.” Always give pedestrians the right of way and stay alert for any and all types of pedestrians, including children.

Respect the Rights of Buses

From 2007 to 2016, three have been 1,282 people killed in school-transportation-related crashes, which is an average of 128 fatalities per year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In all 50 states, it is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. If you are driving behind a school bus, allow for a larger distance between your car and the bus than you would for an average car.

When approaching on the bus, do the following to improve the safety of all:

Children can be unpredictable as can other drivers. Always give extra space to buses and be aware of your surroundings, especially when children are loading and unloading.

Share the Road with Bicyclists

Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles in all 50 states, but can be hard to see on the roadway. Children cyclists are especially at risk due to their small size and lack of experience in navigating traffic conditions. 

To enhance safety on the roadway for bicyclists, especially young bicyclists, do the following:

Back to School Safety First

Regardless of when your child’s school reopens, it is important to be vigilant on the road, especially in school zones. Using these three safety tips, you can enhance safety for all people in the road, including cyclists, pedestrians, bus drivers, and car drivers. While COVID-19 precautions may be a new consideration for many, roadway safety shouldn’t be. Put safety first!

Sam
Author

Samantha is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University, with a degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Business Administration. She is passionate about safety and health and often works in conjunction with injury experts to help inform the online community about life-changing safety tips.

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