Written by Dave on August 11, 2009
It’s back-to-school time! Over the next few weeks, children of all ages will be returning to school. Whether driving on the interstates to college or walking on side of the road and waiting for buses, expect to see a lot more people on the roads and more erratic driving behavior. What can you do to handle these unique driving challenges?
- 1. Plan your trips to give yourself a little extra time to handle the increased congestion that may occur during school hours, particularly around school zones. This will help ease potential frustration and keep you focused on your task at hand.
- 2. Watch for cars that are overloaded with gear, a good indication of someone returning to college. Likely this reveals a younger driver who may lack the experience of highway driving, may be driving for too long a period of time, and whose field of vision is impaired. In any case, expect the unexpected.
- 3. During local drive, be alert for children near school buildings, in areas where school buses are traveling or where there are signs for school zones or bus stops. Younger children are unpredictable and cannot judge the speed and distance of your vehicle. Always anticipate the chance that a small child may run in front of you by slowing down and preparing to brake.
- 4. It’s always a good idea to turn your headlights on in areas with children and pedestrians. AAA says that the use of headlights can reduce pedestrian accidents by about 25 percent.
- 5. Avoid honking your horn at pedestrians or bicyclists as the noise has the potential to startle the child and force them into further unpredictable behavior.
- 6. When driving around school buses, remember that if you are approaching a school bus from either the front or behind, and its yellow lights are flashing, the bus is preparing to stop. If the buses red lights are flashing, you must stop even if you are on the opposite side of a divided highway or on multiple lane roadways.
- 7. Obey posted speeds.
A little more preparation and vigilance on your part will help avoid the potential for disaster, even if you are not at fault.
Posted in: Safety