Summer is coming to an end, which means “Back-to-School” season is just around the corner! Parents may feel a sense of relief sending their kids back to school and returning to their structured routines, but the school year prompts hazards we need to be more aware of. An increase in road congestion is one of the biggest emblems of the school year. According to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, 20 to 30 percent of morning traffic is caused by parents driving their kids to school. School buses are on the road picking up passengers, kids are on bicycles hurrying to school before the bell rings, and harried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work. This makes it even more important for motorists on the road to slow down and pay attention when kids are present – especially before and after school.
Back to School Means Sharing the Road
The school year calls for drivers to now share the road with seasonal drivers who are commuting to and from school.
Below are important tips to sharing the road when school is back in session:
- Share the road with young pedestrians. Young students can easily be missed by motorists. They can get hit by a bus or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. Some precautions for keeping school children safe include:
- Not blocking the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn.
- Stopping and yielding to pedestrians in a school zone when flashers are blinking.
- Always stopping for a school patrol officer or cross guard holding up a stop sign.
- Refraining from honking or revving your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way.
- Never passing a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
- Sharing the road with school buses. It is important to allow a greater distance if you are driving behind a bus, than if you are driving behind a car. Most importantly, it is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
- Share the road with bicyclists. Bicyclists generally have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but they can be hard to see. Children riding bicycles create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. To ensure you get the full money damages you deserve, you need to consult with and hire an Orange County car accident attorney.