05 Sep Back-to-School Driving Tips
Back-to-School Driving Tips
Back to school in New England is an exciting time of year for families as they prepare for a new school year. With summer vacations behind and traffic increasing as people go back to work and back to school, September means different driving patterns and rules of the road. According to a report by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHSTA), autumn is the most dangerous time of year for pedestrians, with 29 percent of pedestrian-related fatalities. We’ve included some helpful tips to keep you, and your children, safer as they head back to school. Whether you are a new or long-term driver, use these tips to set the example for others on the road.
Respect the big yellow bus
Imagine being in a large car with 40 noisy 6th-graders. Could be pretty stressful. Do your part and make the bus drivers’ lives easier. Yield when they are attempting to merge, and maintain a significant distance behind them, as they often make unexpected stops. Make sure children know to walk in front of – never in back of – buses. Read up on other simple safety rules kids to follow when riding the bus, too.
Get in the zone
Children may not always stay on the sidewalk or within crosswalk lines, so you need to be extra careful while driving through school zones. Since a lot of morning traffic is comprised of parents driving children to school, you should also watch out for other vehicles slowing down or suddenly stopping to let children out. As a reminder, please refrain from talking and texting while driving. Speed limits in Massachusetts school zones typically range between 15 and 25 mph. Abide by the limits and look out for pedestrians, keeping your foot on the brake. (It goes without saying that school zones are home to newly licensed teenagers who are largely inexperienced). Speed limits aren’t just for during school hours either – consider after-school marching band practice, late night football games, and other events.
Drivers aren’t the only ones who need to obey the rules of the road. A major driving pet peeve is pedestrians who jaywalk, cross at a red light, or text while walking. More than an annoyance, this is a danger, especially in school zones. Remember to be a good pedestrian — cross at corners/marked crosswalks and in clear view, never between parked cars. Remind your kids to do the same.
A different kind of pool safety
If you’re part of a carpool it’s up to you to remind your children/passengers that seatbelts are a must – no matter who they are driving with. Not only are seat belts the law, they save thousands of lives a year. Buckle up and make sure your passengers do too. Seat belt use among high school students is lower than among other passengers. But even if it sometimes seems like your teenager never does what you want them to, here’s some good news: According to a survey from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than half of teens were more likely to buckle up if the adult who dropped them off at school also wore a seat belt. However, when adult drivers did not use seat belts, only 8% of teens used theirs. So wear your seat belt. And make sure your passengers do too.
Be prepared for fall showers
There may be times when you have to make the ride to or from school in a heavy downpour. As part of a Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil Change, a technician can check your windshield wipers and tire tread. Make sure wipers glide smoothly across the windshield without streaking and that you’re getting enough tire traction on a slippery road.