It’s back-to-school and that means traffic is going to pick up during the A.M and late afternoon commutes. A word to the wise- it’s best strategize around this change, as traffic delays caused by school speed zones and bus stops could affect getting to and from work at a respectable time. Delays can add to stress ,which, in turn, can provoke impatience that can lead to speeding to make up for lost time. This, we know, can lead to accidents, and even worse, school bus accidents involving children. While school bus accidents are rare, drivers can always take preventive measures to avoid such incidents.

Take some school-day safety tips with you on the road:

  1. Plan ahead: If your regular commute includes school bus stops and speed zones, try leaving the house earlier to avoid delays, or plan a new route that is in a school-free zone.
  2. The most dangerous area for children is 10 feet around a school bus. NEVER try to pass a bus when its lights are flashing or when children are getting on or off the bus. Wait for the bus to turn off its lights and put away the “stop arm” before proceeding to drive.
  3. Be alert: Children are unpredictable. Keep your eyes open around school zones, playgrounds and in neighborhoods without sidewalks. Be sure to keep an extra eye out, too, for children who are crossing streets without crossing guards. Remember to stop and to yield to them at crosswalks and always lower your speed when approaching them.
  4. Watch for bicycles: Drive slow around children riding bikes, and keep at least three feet of passing distance between yourself and them.
  5.  Expect the unexpected. Play close attention to driveways where children could come rolling down at any unforeseen moment. Be sure to check for children and to back-up slowly when pulling out of a driveway. Always teach your children to never play around vehicles in the neighborhood.
  6. Be patient: Traffic is heavier and speed limits are lower during this time of year. To appease any frustrations, make a cool song list or listen to an audio book during your commute to avoid the feeling of “wasting time.”

The beginning of back-to-school season typically initiates a shock factor for commuters. However, after a few weeks, everyone begins to roll with the punches and commutes feel normal again. Adhering to a few safety adjustments will this keep this busy season as normal and accident-free as possible.