Summer is nearly over, which means that Virginia schools will soon be back in session. To keep kids and everyone else safe, here are a few back-to-school safety driving tips.
Sharing the road with young pedestrians
Driving through school zones requires plenty of practice and patience. When you’re around children, slow down and always stay alert. Younger kids may not yet know how to safely cross the street, so you have to anticipate anything.
Never stop in a crosswalk as it forces people to have to walk around your vehicle, sometimes into the line of traffic. If there is a school crossing guard in the area, obey their hand signals or stop signs.
Always allow pedestrians to safely cross the street before proceeding. Be patient even if it’s your right of way and drive slowly when passing parked cars just in case children might suddenly appear between them.
Dropping off your child at school
Always follow safe drop-off steps when bringing your child to school. When you enter the school zone, do not double park because it can block visibility to other vehicles and children passing through the area. Park your car safely and allow your child to exit. If your child is very young, avoid dropping them off across the street from the school unless you’re going to walk them there.
Sharing the road with school buses
School buses need plenty of room to allow children to enter and exit safely. It’s illegal to pass a bus while it has yellow lights flashing. Doing so can cause a serious motor vehicle accident. Be patient and wait until the bus moves again before proceeding. Remain at least 10 feet behind a bus at all times when traveling behind.
Avoid distracted driving at all times. It only takes seconds to fail to see a child wander into the street. If you have to check your cellphone, park and then check it.
Being aware of your surroundings and careful while driving through a school zone can keep children safer.