With many schools back in session, a little homework’s in order to ensure safe driving around your local school. The following tips are courtesy of our friends at AAA:
Be Alert. Watch for signs, crossing guards and other indications that you’re approaching a school zone.
Drive Distraction-Free. Keep your eyes on the road, not on your cellphone, radio dial or the morning newspaper. AAA research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chance of crashing.
Slow Down. School zone speed limits are intentionally set low for several good reasons:
- Children are unpredictable (they may dart into the street unexpectedly) and have difficulty gauging the distance and speed of an approaching car.
- Lower speeds significantly reduce the likelihood of fatal accidents. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at a reduced school zone speed of 25 mph is nearly 66% less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.
Stop for School Buses Loading or Unloading Students. Resist temptation to save a little time by driving around a school bus with its lights flashing red and stop sign extended. Doing so is unsafe and against the law. While laws vary by state, it’s safe to assume you must stop behind a school bus with its lights flashing red and stop sign extended if you are in the same lane or an adjacent lane (either in the same direction or an opposite direction) or if the bus is at an intersection you’re approaching. If you’re on a road with three or more lanes and traveling in the opposite direction of the bus, you don’t have to stop.
Come to a Complete Stop. According to AAA, research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods.
Back Out of Driveways Slowly. In many neighborhoods, children are walking to school during the morning commute. So, be sure to back out of your driveway slowly and watch for little ones.
Make Sure You Can See and be Seen. Our days are getting shorter and rain is making its way back into the forecast. So, take a few seconds now to double-check that all of your vehicle’s lights and signals are functioning correctly and that your windshield wipers are working correctly. Our Famous 20-Point Full-Service Oil Change includes a complimentary check of your lights, signals and windshield wipers. Our trained technicians will be happy to replace burned out bulbs and worn-out wiper blades.
If your headlights appear faded or hazy, consider our Headlight Restoration service, which can greatly increase headlight output and visibility. It also improves the appearance of your vehicle.