Now that kids will be back on their way to school, drivers need to use extra caution in and around school zones. At arrival and dismissal times, drivers are often in a hurry and distracted which can lead to unsafe conditions for students and others walking, bicycling and driving in the area. Motorists who drive near school zones should slow down and obey all traffic laws. Other safe driving practices include, coming to a complete stop at stop signs, slowing down in school zones and being on the lookout for school busses, crossing guards and children crossing or near the street.
Driving tips for school zones
- Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits, both in school zones and in neighborhoods surrounding the school.
- Comply with local school drop-off and pick-up procedures for the safety of all children accessing the school.
- Avoid double parking or stopping on crosswalks to let children out of the car. Double parking will block visibility for other children and other motorists.
- Avoid loading or unloading children at locations across the street from the school. This forces youngsters to unnecessarily cross busy streets; often mid-block rather than at a crosswalk.
- Prepare to stop for a school bus when overhead yellow lights are flashing. Drive with caution when you see yellow hazard warning lights are flashing on a moving or stopped bus.
- Stop for a school bus with its red overhead lights flashing, regardless of the direction from which the driver is approaching. Drivers must not proceed until the school bus resumes motion and the red lights stop flashing, or until signaled by the school bus driver to proceed.
- Watch for children walking or bicycling (both on the road and the sidewalk) in areas near a school.
- Watch for children playing and gathering near bus stops. Watch for children arriving late for the bus, who may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
- Watch for children walking or biking to school when backing up (out of a driveway or leaving a garage).
- Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Center for Safe Routes to School
Preventing school-related injuries
Chose a backpack for your child carefully and ensure they use both straps when wearing it to evenly distribute the weight on their shoulders.
- It should have ergonomically designed features to enhance safety and comfort.
- It should not weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
Whether children walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, it is extremely important that they take proper safety precautions and that drivers are extremely cautious in and around school zones.
We hope you and your children have a safe school year. But, in the unfortunate event that someone is injured, call 1-800-834-8400 or in Wichita, Kansas call 316-977-9999 or contact DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers for a free no obligation case evaluation.