Once again, we’re back to school! Back to the hustle and bustle, homework, and all the fun activities that keep parents and kids busy.It’s also a time when more accidents may occur because of the uptick in traffic, the new routines, and some new drivers on the road during high traffic hours. Here are a few things you can keep top of mind as you’re developing your new back to school routine.
1. Watch for the school bus, and obey existing laws.
Watching out for school buses and school kids in school zones, unloading and loading buses, walking to the bus stop, and weaving between cars in drop off and pick up lines is critical. In Arkansas, vehicles must stop for school bus loading or unloading, unless on a separate roadway of a highway divided by 20-foot strip.
School buses must be painted “national school bus yellow.”
2.Never ever text and drive – ever.
Never, ever text and drive. Distracted driving kills. It is simply not worth the risk. Put your phone in your console, give it to your child to hold.
From the National Safety Council:
“TheNational Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.”
Visit itcanwait.com/pledge and take the pledge to put your phone down while driving. Don’t become a statistic.
3.Use your backup cameras, and eliminate blind spots.
Today’s cars have great back up cameras and safety alert systems – so always use those back up cameras. There just may be a smaller child behind your car whom you can’t see without the help of a back up camera, though, so you must always be aware of blind spots. Take precautions and make sure your mirrors are adjusted to eliminate those blind spots as best you can.
4. Don’t drive when tired or sleep deprived.
Missing even a few hours of sleep can mean reduced reaction time, which can mean accidents in the school drop off line or near a bus stop. If you’re responsible for driving kids every day, make sure you get adequate sleep. Even driving a short distance can become dangerous due to a sleepy driver.
5. Teach young drivers these rules, and lead by example.
We can teach young drivers to abide by safety rules when we lead by example. They are excited to get to drive to school, or drive to practice, but they need to have these rules at the forefront of their mind. And we must teach by example. What they see us do, they will do.
If you have driving or safety tips to share, I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to email me at any time at email@example.com.