The languid days of summer are all but gone and it’s time to begin thinking about the school year ahead. The hustle and bustle and morning rush will soon return, jamming the streets with more vehicles and pedestrians — including our youngest and smallest of citizens.
School buses are picking up passengers, kids are hurrying toward school, and parents are rushing to drop off kids before continuing on to their places of employment or other daily schedules. It’s time to go back to school again, and all parties need to be ready to share the roads.
Key times to consider are when students are rushing to school or being dismissed. “This can be a dangerous time because children — as well as drivers — are adjusting to back-to-school routines,” says Alex Epstein, director of Transportation Safety for the National Safety Council (NSC).
The most at-risk group of school-bound pedestrians range from age 4 to 7, according to the NSC. Most children lose their lives in bus-related accidents when they are walking to or from the school bus. They are either struck by the bus itself, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus.
There are some tips you can offer to your fleet drivers that can help keep everyone safe, but one that stands out as eminently important: Slow down.
- Be aware of when the school year resumes in your surrounding area. Be extra vigilant as schools go back in session as there will be increased pedestrian traffic.
- Allow ample space between the vehicle and the bus (minimum 10 feet) when stopping for a bus when it has its lights flashing.
- Allow ample distance between a moving bus and vehicle when following and be prepared to stop when lights begin to flash.
- Adhere to school zone speed limits as they will once again be enforced.
- Make eye contact with children crossing the street
- Never pass a bus loading or unloading students
Being cautious and staying alert when driving are always important, especially during the school year. It is also important to make sure you or your drivers are not driving distracted. Follow the tips above, or see our other resources on ways to prevent distracted driving and help everyone stay safe on the road
At Acadia Insurance, we are here to answer any questions you may have. To find an agent near you, visit acadiainsurance.com.
Acadia is pleased to share this material for the benefit of its customers. Please note, however, that nothing herein should be construed as either legal advice or the provision of professional consulting services. This material is for informational purposes only, and while reasonable care has been utilized in compiling this information, no warranty or representation is made as to accuracy or completeness.