Back to School Driving Tips

Back to school season brings chaos not only in the retail industry, but also to the morning and evening commutes.

Those who regularly travel during these rush hours will notice an increase in vehicle and school bus traffic, as well as foot traffic. These driving tips will help keep everyone on the road safe.

Share the Road

Not only should drivers share the road with bicyclists, but drivers should also be aware of pedestrians. If you’re at a stop light, do not block the crosswalk. This may cause pedestrians to have to walk around your vehicle, putting them at risk of walking into the path of moving traffic. Always be extremely cautious when driving through crosswalks, school zones, or playgrounds. Never pass a vehicle that is allowing a pedestrian to cross – no matter who has the right of way.

It’s also important to share the road with school buses. As difficult as it can be sometimes in the chaos of rush hour, drivers need to be patient and pay very close attention to their surroundings when school buses are nearby. You should never pass a bus while it is stopped, as children are loading or unloading the bus. A child may walk out from the side of the bus to cross the street. Children can be unpredictable, forgetting to look both ways before crossing. It’s the drivers responsibility to create a save environment.

School Zones

Pay attention to school zones identified by a flashing lights around a posted speed limit sign, or a more traditional yellow pentagon with two pedestrians. The speed limit for a school zone can range from 15 – 25 mph depending on the area. While traveling through a school zone, cover the brake with your foot in case you need to make an emergency stop. These areas are also known for newly licensed drivers with little driving experience.

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Areas

An alternative to getting your student to or from school is driving them there yourself. Schools will often have a designated area for dropping off/picking up your student – be sure to review the school’s procedures and know the designated area(s). At times, the line to drop-off your student can be long, but do not let that tempt you into dropping them off across the street from the school. Carpooling with other students will help eliminate long lines and allow for more flexibility in your schedule. You should avoid double parking as it blocks visibility and can put other students and vehicles at risk.

With a little extra care and caution, students, staff, parents, and commuters can create an environment that is safe.