It's that time of year: back to school! Schools are starting again, which means kids will be out on their bicycles and scooters, and parents will drive them to school. So here are some essential tips to remind you and your kids to stay safe on the road!
Stay alert and avoid all distractions, including cell phones.
Avoid all distractions. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents on the road, especially among young drivers. If you’re going to be on the road this month, stay alert and avoid all distractions, including cell phones.
Pull over if necessary. If it’s important enough for you to pull over and make that call or send that text message, then so be it—but do so safely! The last thing we want is for a parent who has been trying to talk with their child for weeks about how they should drive safely now getting into an accident because they were distracted by their phone while driving them back from school or work!
When driving, your phone should be used for emergencies only. If you have to take a call or send a text message while driving, pull over at the nearest safe spot—a parking lot or rest area is always preferable if possible—and do it there. No text or call is worth risking your life or the lives of others.
Do not pass a school bus that is loading or unloading children.
Passing a school bus that is loading or unloading children is dangerous and illegal. If you are in a vehicle that is not a school bus, you must stop if the red lights on top of the bus are flashing and remain stopped until they turn off.
Always watch for children running across streets and parking lots. As the weather warms up, more students will be walking to school, so it's essential to be aware of what's going on around you when driving near schools at any time of day—especially during drop-off times in the morning and pick-up times after school ends at 3 p.m. when many parents shuttle their kids from campus back home.*
Watch out for cyclists.
Be aware of cyclists riding in the bike lane.
Be aware of cyclists riding on the sidewalk.
Be aware of cyclists riding on the road (and be prepared to stop).
Look out for cyclists that may be going in the opposite direction from you—they are often harder to see when they're coming at you from behind, even if they have lights and reflectors on their bicycles!
Watch for multiple riders riding two abreast; if there isn't enough room for both vehicles side by side, give them space and don't try to squeeze between them.
The main point: Be vigilant and keep your eyes peeled. The more cyclists you're aware of, the more likely you'll avoid a collision.
Keep cautious while driving in school zones.
Be mindful of children who may be running between buses. Be extra mindful of children while they're walking home from school. Look out for children on crosswalks. If you see a school zone sign, slow down! You can help keep the crosswalk safe by slowing down near it.
It's essential to be especially cautious when driving during school hours.
We know drivers can get frustrated with school zone traffic, but we hope these tips will help keep you focused on the road and your kids safe throughout this busy season. Remember: when in doubt, slow down! At The Law Office of George P. Escobedo & Associates, PLLC we always want to foster a safe environment, but accidents happen, and if you need legal help, we’re here for you.