Back to School – Safe Driving Tips to Stay Accident Free
Back to School – Safe Driving Tips to Stay Accident-Free
With the start of a new school year comes a renewed focus on safety. Parents and teachers alike are reminding students to take extra care when walking, skateboarding, or riding their bicycles to school. This is also the time for drivers to re-acquaint themselves with safe driving practices. Autumn can be one of the most dangerous times to drive, and back to school brings with it a unique set of hazards.
Safe driving tips to stay accident-free
As children head back to school, drivers need to remember to be extra cautious. This time of year brings increased traffic due to the presence of students, bicycles, and pedestrians. It’s also a time when parents are likely to be in a hurry to drop off their kids at the bus stop. Following these tips will help keep everyone safe.
When passing a school bus, make sure you not only have the right of way but also give yourself enough space. School buses are slower than cars, so allowing yourself a good following distance will help avoid hitting a bus. School bus stop signs are strictly enforced and heavily fined if you fail to acknowledge them. Drivers need to slow down for school buses with flashing lights. Remember that yellow and red flashing lights are considered stop lights, so drivers must slow down and pay extra attention to the bus before turning.
Distracted driving increases the risk of an accident
Distracted driving is dangerous and increases the risk of an accident. It causes 10 percent of car crashes and 18 percent of injuries. However, the exact toll of distracted driving is still unknown. This is mainly because investigators have a hard time determining the exact level of driver distraction. Wireless device records are only available in the most serious accidents, and drivers may not admit they were distracted at the time of the crash. Furthermore, police may be unable to determine whether the distraction contributed to the accident. As such, current estimates are likely to be underestimated.
While most Americans understand that driving while texting or talking on the phone is dangerous, some still do it anyway. A recent survey by AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index found that 81.1% of respondents find texting or talking on the phone unacceptable, yet forty percent said they had done so at least once. In addition, a recent survey found that nearly one-third of drivers have either read or sent emails while driving.
Refrain from road rage
Road rage is dangerous behavior. You should always avoid engaging in a confrontation with another driver. Engaging in an argument with a driver will only escalate the situation and may lead to further violence and danger. Instead, refrain from eye contact and gestures, and do not speed up to pass the offending driver. The safety of you and your passengers is more important than teaching someone a lesson. When road rage strikes, take a deep breath and try to relax.
Road rage is often caused by an emotional crisis. This could include a recent job loss, the loss of a girlfriend, going through a divorce, or an illness. If you are in a state of rage when driving back to school, it may be best to keep your temper to yourself. If you feel like expressing your anger, make the responsible decision to express it not when you are operating a vehicle. Also, allow yourself ample time to travel, a rushed parent on the way to school or work can be the cause of many accidents.
Allow extra distance when driving behind a bus
To stay safe when driving behind a bus, it’s important to leave extra space. Large vehicles can be hard to stop and are more difficult to see than smaller vehicles, so always allow extra space when driving behind a bus. Also, make sure to stop at railroad crossings when necessary. And, as a final note, remember that buses must stop for railroad crossings as well.
The most common accident involves a rear-end collision, which occurs when drivers don’t have enough time to react. By increasing your following distance, you’ll have ample time to react to potential problems before the other vehicle hits your car. It’s easy to measure the distance between two vehicles by comparing the rear bumper to an overhead road sign or roadside object and then multiplying that distance by three.
Carpooling reduces congestion
As millions of students head back to school, drivers need to be extra cautious, especially in school zones. According to the Department of Transportation, Vision Zero data (www.vzv.nyc) there are over 28K traffic crashes and 145 fatalities so far this year (as of 7.31.22) Fortunately, there are a few simple safety tips that will help keep you accident-free and on the road.
Drivers need to be aware of bus stops and children walking to school. Most schools have designated drop-off and pick-up areas, so drivers should follow those procedures. In addition, parents should call individual schools to find out where to park. Drivers should not pass school buses when their red lights are flashing.
Many of these tips feel like common sense and we all can take steps to make our city streets safer for us and our children. If you or your loved one was involved in a school-related traffic accident, contact our office for a consultation to evaluate if you have a case.
About Daniella Levi & Associates P.C.
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