Whether you are in a rush to get your kids to school, your mind is on other things, or just did not realize you had exceeded the speed limit, it is easy to find yourself speeding in a school zone. As Colorado Springs car accident lawyers, we want to help prevent accidents in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are often present. Here are five tips provided by Safe Routes to School to help you be a safe driver around walking and bicycling children:
- Obey the speed limit. Yes, 20 miles per hour can feel really slow, and the vehicle behind you might be riding your bumper, but it is important to not speed. Unfortunately, a national survey found two-thirds of drivers go over the posted speed limit in school zones during the half hour before and after school, the time when children are likely to be walking or biking to and from school. Obeying school speed limits is important as you can stop quicker at the slower speed, and being hit at 30 MPH versus 20 MPH increases a pedestrian’s chances of dying from 5 percent to around 37 to 45 percent.
- Be aware of school buses. If the yellow overhead lights are flashing, be prepared to stop. If the red overhead lights are flashing, stop, and wait for the lights to stop flashing and the bus to proceed.
- Do not load or unload children in areas across the street from the school. This often forces the children to cross a busy street, often in areas without a crosswalk.
- Watch for children playing near bus stops, and be aware of kids who might be running to catch the bus and therefore may not be watching for traffic.
- When practical, you may also want to adjust your route to avoid school zones when kids are arriving or leaving school.