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Back to School Traffic Tips to Avoid Accidents

It happens every year around this time. Roads that had been smooth sailing for drivers are suddenly congested with big yellow buses and their blinking lights. Though you may think of back to school time as a traffic inconvenience that slows you down, it is important to remember that we all have a responsibility to be careful on the road, to obey the traffic rules, and to give special consideration to the young lives that those buses are carrying, as well as to those who are crossing our neighborhoods’ streets on foot or on bicycles. Every driver assumes a duty of care when they get behind the wheel. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping those who have been injured as a result of others’ lack of responsibility, and part of our commitment lies in reminding the community of how to keep kids safe. Here are some of our top back to school traffic tips to avoid accidents.

  • Make sure that you know and follow the rules regarding school buses. A bus whose yellow lights are flashing is warning you that they are about to stop to pick up or discharge passengers. Slow down! When the red lights are flashing you need to come to a complete stop, whether you are behind the bus, heading towards the bus, or turning onto a road where the bus is stopped. Make sure that you stay at least ten feet away from the perimeter of the bus to allow children plenty of room to safely disembark or board.
  • Pay attention to the posted speed limits. Most schools have clearly marked zones and flashing lights during school traffic hours that require motorists to drop to a special reduced speed. Look for these zones and obey the signs.
  • Be aware of pedestrians. Children can be unpredictable, especially when they are excited to see their friends. Be extra cautious in school zones, don’t block crosswalks, and always stop for school crossing guards. Never honk your horn at a child or crossing guard who you feel is taking too long, even if you have the right of way, and if you see a vehicle ahead of you that is stopping for a pedestrian, do not try to pass them.
  • Share the road with cyclists. Children who ride their bikes to school may not know all of the rules of the road, or may not adhere to them. Their judgment of traffic will not be accurate and they may make the decision to cross in front of a car without warning, or may stop suddenly when they see a friend or realize that they need to make a turn.

Nobody wants to be responsible for an injury to a child. Back to school time requires extra vigilance, so be aware of these rules and when in doubt, slow down or stop.