Did you hear that noise? That’s the collective sigh of students all across New England who are dreading the resumption of school. Yes, it’s that time of year again – Labor Day has come and gone and class is back in session. For those who may have forgotten about students returning to school, a caravan of yellow school buses may help to refresh your memory. While the traffic in your area may have been quiet during the summer, it is likely to pick up if it has not done so already. With increased traffic comes increased responsibility and attention to the road. Here are just a few ways you can be sure to drive safely during Back to School.
Although you may have been cruising around town all summer, it’s time to pay strict attention to speed limits (something you always should do, anyway). With more drivers on the road, the chances of getting in accident increase. However, you can mitigate your odds by taking it nice and slow – especially in school zones.
Expect the Unexpected
Let’s face it: students are not always the safest drivers. Many disobey speed limits and traffic rules out of ignorance or just a lack of experience. The “expect the unexpected” adage rings especially true during the school year. Adolescents and high schoolers can often make rash decisions, such as running through a crosswalk without looking both ways, or blowing through a stop sign. The point here is to drive defensively to decrease your chances of an accident.
This Vehicle Makes Frequent Stops
No driver enjoys getting stuck behind a school bus, most notably a full one after school. School buses can be somewhat annoying to drive behind due to their limited speed and frequent stopping. Yet, it’s important to obey all rules pertaining to school buses. Be sure to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the bus, and stop whenever the bus’s sign is extended. Don’t attempt to pass a bus while it’s stopped as small children may be crossing the road. Be patient, and mindful that you were once that age.
Other tips to keep in mind include limiting distractions, look out for students on bicycles, and being mindful of when local schools start and end class. For example, if your local high school starts the school day at 8 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m., avoid, if you can, driving in school zones during those times.