Summer Vacation is coming to a close and parents are rushing to get the last minute school supplies. Kids are worried about that key first day outfit to set the tone of the year. Teachers are getting their classrooms set up and decorated. This is an exciting time of year, but also one that has its fair share of danger. With that in mind here is a list of safety tips to keep in mind as you and your child prepare for this new school year:
1. Slow down in School Zones
School zone have not been active the last couple of months but they will soon be full of kids, parents, teachers, busses, and student resource officers. Our suggestion is to go ahead and start making a mental note of where those school zones are on your drive and be sure to look up the first day of school for your area.
If you are not used to slowing down in those areas it is easy to come through going well over the reduced speed for school zone times. It is crucial that you slow down in these areas though to ensure safe drop off and pick up for our school age children.
2. Don't pass stopped School Busses
Look we all know that busses frequent stops and slow speeds can make for a long commute and possibly being late to work, but passing school busses while they are stopped is extremely dangerous. Kids cross from both sides of the street and often don't look before walking out into the road. If you attempt to pass a school buss while it is stopped making a drop off or pick up there could be deadly consequences.
Take a deep breath and wait for a safe opportunity to pass the bus.
3. Keep an eye out for kids in the Mornings
Kids are not just riding the buss to school or riding with parents. Many children will be riding bikes or walking to and from school. Keep an eye out for children on the side of the road or crossing the roadway. This is especially important as you approach school zones as children may be crossing the roadway and are not always good about looking both ways before doing so.
4. Leave a little early to avoid rushing
Traffic is always at its worst the first few weeks of school. Make sure to leave a little early for work or school in the morning to leave yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Rushing often causes us to do things we would not normally do, and creates safety risks for those around us. If we can set out a little extra time then we avoid the stress of feeling like being behind the school bus is going to make us late to work.
5. Don't drive distracted
One of the top causes of auto accidents in the State of Alabama is distracted driving. Texting and driving being the worst of these. Put the phone down while you are driving and avoid other distracting activities like eating, messing with the radio, or looking back at the backseat while you are driving through school zones or around bus routes.
A moment of distraction while behind the wheel could have life changing consequences. This is especially important for your new teenage drivers to understand.
6. Practice driving the school route with your new Teen Drivers
The number one cause of death for teenagers is car crashes. There are things we can do to help our young drivers avoid collisions. First, make sure the driving lessons don't stop the day they get their license. Take time to drive around with your teenagers to be sure they are driving safely. Second, go on a drive with them on a non-school day to make sure they are familiar with their route to school and where they will be parking. Third, have discussions about not using their phones while driving and to avoid other types of distractions. Put the phone and bluetooth and use siri or some other hands free method to change music, that way both hand stay on the wheel and both eyes are on the road. Finally, set a good example for your child with your driving. As we all know, we are monkey see monkey do creatures and as much as we say do as I say and not as I do, kids will mimic our actions much more than our words.