School’s In, Look Out
10 key tips for motorists to help keep kids safe as they return to school.
- Slow Down. Two-thirds of motorists exceeded the posted speed limit during the 30-minute period before and after school, according to a recent national observational survey. Whether in a school zone or residential neighborhood, motorists should keep their speed low and be prepared to stop quickly for increased vehicle or pedestrian traffic.
- Obey Traffic Signs. Obeying traffic signs is something all motorists should do no matter where they drive. However, a national observational survey found that many motorists violated stop signs in school zones and residential neighborhoods. Forty-five percent did not come to a complete stop with 37 percent rolling through and seven percent not even slowing down.
- Stay Alert. Motorists should always avoid distractions while driving, but it’s particularly important in school zones and residential neighborhoods. Looking away from the roadway for just two seconds doubles the chance of being involved in a crash. Avoid talking on mobile phones, adjusting the radio or any other activities that might take attention away from the roadway. Never text while driving.
- Scan Between Parked Cars. Nearly 40 percent of child pedestrian fatalities occurred in between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., mostly at non-intersection locations. Children can quickly dart out between parked cars or other objects along the roadway. Motorists should pay close attention not only at intersections, but along any residential roadways where children could be present.
- Look for Clues of Children Nearby. Keep an eye out for clues that children are likely nearby such as AAA School Safety Patrol members, crossing guards, bicycles and playgrounds.