leading cause of death for
ages 5 to 14.
are back from summer camp, school will be in
session again soon and
will be out on the streets. That means drivers
need to step up safety around school
zones,crosswalks, bus stops
and wherever children
may be playing outside.
are some back-to-school tips:
familiar with school
Get in the
habit of noticing where school zones and
crosswalks are on routes that you normally take.
Accidents, including pedestrian accidents,
are far more likely to occur locally on
routes with which drivers are more familiar and
2. Stop for school
Always stop for school buses with
flashing red lights. Drivers approaching the bus
must come to a full stop for the duration
that the red lights are on. Some school buses
have flashing yellow lights also, which
means that drivers may proceed with extreme
caution. Bus drivers often engage the flashing
yellow lights before the flashing red
lights, signaling that they are about to
3. Obey crossing
School crossing guards are given police
training and the same authority as local
traffic police in most areas, so disobeying
a crossing guard could get you in some serious
trouble. Remember that driving on major
streets where crossing guards and
crosswalks are observed is safer than taking
"short-cut" side streets where children may
4. Anticipate the
The speed and distance away of oncoming
cars is more difficult for young children
to judge. Always anticipate the chance that
a small child may run in front of you by slowing
down and preparing to brake.
careful around parked
especially careful in areas with parked
vehicles on the side of the road. Children
waiting to cross may be especially
difficult to see behind parked sport-utility
6. Turn your
Drive with headlights on in areas with
children and pedestrians. The AAA says that the
use of headlights can reduce pedestrian
accidents by about 25 percent.
7. Avoid using cell
phones when driving.
Cell phones are a known distraction.
Never use hand-held cell phones while driving,
and never use hands-free cell phones while
driving in school zones or areas with
children. The same goes for activities that
distract the driver, such as changing CDs,
looking at notes and reading maps.
to avoid reversing your vehicle in areas with
children. It's more difficult to see short
children and attend to your car's blind
spots while reversing.
that the speed limit in most school zones
during school times or when children are present
is 25 miles per hour. Bad weather, or areas
with limited visibility, will require a lower
speed. Your visibility to pedestrians, your
ability to see them and your stopping
distance all may be greatly impaired by weather
or road conditions so follow common sense
and slow down.
honk at pedestrians or
at a child, whether on foot or on a
bicycle, is generally not a good idea. The noise
could possibly cause the startled child to
trip or fall and be in a dangerous position
for other approaching