Preventing accidents this back to school season

By this point in September, children of all ages are back in school. However, not all children, parents and motorists have adjusted to the particulars of schoolchildren’s commute routes and timing just yet. Because back to school can be a dangerous season, it is critical that everyone refreshes their safety knowledge in order to keep pedestrian accident and bicycle accident rates low.

First of all, adults should remember that children do not always look before they cross the street. Whether they are traveling on foot or by bike, children often act on their impulses first and think about the consequences of their actions later. As a result, it is imperative that motorists slow down and drive cautiously whenever children are present.

Second, it is important to observe special rules that apply in school zones during pick-up and drop-off times. Many areas ban any sort of distracted driving in school zones and all areas reduce speed limits in these spaces. In addition, motorists should never pass school buses which have extended stop sign arms and red lights flashing. These buses are dropping off or picking up children and motorists must not pass them at these designated times.

With a little caution and a safety knowledge refresher taken to heart, motorists can keep themselves and school children safe this back to school season. On the other hand, failure to take the hazards of this season seriously could result in tragedy. Please do not drive carelessly, negligently or recklessly during this critical transition time.

Source: Voice of the Valley, “Back to School Driving Safety Tips,” Sep. 5, 2013