As summer comes to a close, parents nationwide start preparing for the back to school rush. This poses additional risks for both motorists and pedestrians, thanks to an increase in traffic at the start and end of the school day, as well as the number of children walking and biking to school. Planning ahead and keeping these back to school safety tips in mind will help keep everyone safer.
Give Yourself Extra Time
Get familiar with your local school district’s schedule so that you know when the school day starts. In the week leading up to the first day of school, there will likely be an increase in traffic as parents visit classrooms, explore school routes, and plan out their drives.
Give yourself extra time for your morning commute, doctor appointments, and other obligations. This ensures that you’re not feeling rushed, and minimizes risky driving maneuvers including speeding.
Make Sure Kids Understand Safety Guidelines
If you have kids at home, make sure that they know how to stay safe when traveling to and from school. Practice the route several times prior to the start of the school year, and be sure to identify areas where drivers tend to speed or roll through stop signs. If your kids are extra vigilant, they can – and will – stay safe, even when motorists aren’t paying attention.
Also teach your children the importance of remaining focused when walking or biking. Walking home with their eyes on their cell phone or a portable gaming device can impact their ability to avoid accidents.
It’s important to minimize distractions whenever you’re driving, but it’s even more crucial when little ones may unexpectedly dash into the road. Be ready to react to any situation by staying attentive. Put your cell phone away, keep music at a reasonable volume, and avoid eating or drinking while driving.
Be Mindful of Teenage Drivers
Adults are more likely to be naturally cautious behind the wheel, since they understand the potential fallout of a serious accident. Teenagers are typically more carefree, which increases their risk of a car accident. If you have teenagers at home, take time to clearly outline your expectations while they are driving. Look into car trackers that let you follow your teen’s location and driving speed, as well as acceleration and braking habits. Sometimes, just knowing that you’re keeping an eye on their behavior can make teens drive more slowly and carefully. Since cell phones are a major distraction for teenage drivers, look into apps that disable texting while driving.
Road safety is everyone’s job, and these back to school safety tips can help you do your part. Unfortunately, other drivers may not follow safe driving protocols, putting you and your family at risk. The effects of a car accident can impact victims for years. If you or someone you love is involved in a car crash or pedestrian accident, contact Fetterman & Associates at (561) 983-4771.