By John Fagan***
Every August and September, 55 million children across the
United States head back to school. 13% of those children are walking or biking
to their classes. More cars and children on the road may create some unfamiliar
driving challenges. Adhering to the following back to school safe driving tips
could save lives.
1. Be aware of and watch out for children near
schools, bus stops, sidewalks, in the street, or in school parking lots.
2. Be on the lookout for school zone signals and
always obey the speed limit. Even increasing your speed by just a few miles per
hour could be the difference between life and death for a child darting across
3. Always come to a complete stop at stop signs and
traffic signals and check carefully for children before proceeding. More than
1/3 of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones and neighborhoods.
4. When in a school zone, always stop and yield for
pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection, even if you think you have
the right of way. Never honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian.
5. Do not block the crosswalk when stopped at a red
light or waiting to make a turn. This forces pedestrians to go around out which
could put them in the path of moving traffic.
6. Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for
7. Watch out for crossing guards and obey their
8. While in a school zone never pass another
vehicle, change lanes, make u-turns, or text while driving.
9. Avoid using a cell phone unless it is completely
hands free. You need to be absolutely focused on safe driving while in a school
you are dropping off or picking up children from school, make sure you know the
school’s specific drop off procedures.
not drop off or pick up children across the street from the school.
to reduce the number of vehicles at the school.
carefully. Every vehicle has blind spots. Check for children and slowly back
you are driving behind a bus, follow at a greater distance than you normally
would for a car. It gives you more time to stop once the yellow lights start
stop for school buses loading and unloading children. Never try to pass them.
10 foot area around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far
enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.
sharing the road with bicyclists, leave 3 feet between your car and the bike.
allow the bicyclist to pass you before turning.
out for children turning their bikes without signaling.
for bikes and children coming from driveways or behind parked cars.
side mirrors before opening your door in case bicyclists or children are
1 RULE: Stay alert; children are often unpredictable and tend to ignore hazards
and take risks.
My practice is dedicated to helping accident victims. If you ever need help with a legal problem or just want information on these subjects, you can always reach me at 1-855 FAGAN LAW or by email at John@JohnFagan.com