It’s back to school time and for many children, school is already in session. Today I realized how important it is to use extra caution while driving, now that school is in session. This is the time of the year when we say goodbye to the leisurely summer traffic, and start sharing the road with hurried parents, new teen drivers, student pedestrians, and school buses. Not only do we want to send our kids off to school safely each day, but it is equally important that each of us make it to and from work safely. Why not start this school year by sharing the following safety tips from the National Safety Council:
- Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods, especially near bus stops, playgrounds, and parks.
- Leave enough time to get your destination, so you won’t be tempted to speed.
- Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
- Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it’s stopped to load or unload children.
- Be alert; children are often unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.
- Be aware of inexperienced teen drivers who may struggle with judging gaps in traffic, driving the right speed for conditions, and turning safely.
- Avoid distractions such as eating, putting on makeup, or using your phone for texting, talking, or apps such as Pokémon Go.
- Acknowledge and encourage staff members who are willing to share ideas or experiences about how they exercised a little extra care and caution on the road.
- Talk to your children about being aware of their surroundings (no walking while wearing headphones or while texting or talking), crossing only at cross walks, always walking on sidewalks when possible, and looking left, right, then left again before crossing the street.
Though many of us have probably heard or shared these tips before, I like to live by the motto that it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Let’s join together in promoting a safe and accident-free school year. After all, nothing is more important than you, your family, and your staff making it home safely each day.