As millions of students prepare to head back to school, parents and students alike will be changing their morning routines including packing their bags, getting dressed, and driving over to school. Whether for a parent driver or a student behind the wheel, here are a few tips to consider for back-to-school driving safety.
Be aware and control your speed
In the areas surrounding a school there are always many kids walking around, bike riders, and stop-and-go cars trying to drop their passengers off for school. With this craziness, driving quickly through these areas can be tricky and often dangerous. Around children and school areas, especially at peak time such as 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., watch your speed and stay alert. Most schools have a controlled speed limit in a school zone in order to protect students and pedestrians, so make sure to be aware of this around schools.
School bus or carpool
In order to prevent large amounts of traffic in the school lots and surrounding areas, carpooling can reduce this craziness and is also a more energy-efficient alternative! It can lead to safer roads, too. In high school I would pick up my neighbors before heading to school; it was a great way to start the day by spending time with friends! Another option is of course the school bus. I took the school bus throughout grade school and loved it!
I know the mornings can be a busy time with everyone getting ready for school or work, trying to start their day, etc., so prepare the night before. Pack your bag, prepare your lunch, and set your alarm so your morning can be stress-free. Because of this, you can leave on time with plenty of time to reach your destination. Being late often causes people to rush and drive aggressively. Although this is common, it often leads to accidents or traffic violations. So even if you are running late in the morning, drive carefully and cautiously. Safety is most important!
Stay off your cell phones
I know it is hard to stay off your phone when you are driving through a parking lot trying to find your kid so you can get in and out with ease. Many modern schools today have cell phone zones, where you can stop, call your child safely, and then proceed to the pick-up zone after you put your phone down. Or plan a meet-up time and place with your children, so there will be no confusion or miscommunication, and you can drive without worrying about checking your cell phone.
Whether you are a student or a carpool driver, these tips and tricks will help you kick off the school year without a hitch! Stay safe and have a great year!