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The Dangers of Back-to-School Traffic

The nation just got through the first few weeks of school this fall and with it came the usual added stress on drivers and kids to stay safe. The reasons are obvious for an increase in the risk of motor vehicle accidents near schools, with or around school buses and in neighborhoods with children.

Kids are little and harder to see, and more likely as pedestrians or bicyclists to forget to observe traffic safety rules or to move impulsively. Most children are killed as pedestrians in the after-school hours.

Bursts of traffic are also likely to accompany resumption of classes at colleges and universities.

Teen drivers are inexperienced and notorious for using cell phones while driving to text, talk or surf the Internet. They also get distracted by their peers inside and outside their vehicles.

Tips from AAA for safer back-to-school driving have shown up in many news articles this month, including:

  • Increase awareness when driving and slow down to the decreased speed limit in school zones.
  • Be aware of speed limits even if you are late to work or in a hurry to get home after a day at the office.
  • Refresh your understanding of the driving rules around school busses. When the red lights are flashing or the stop-arm is extended, stop. Be sure not to move again until the bus has resumed its trip and all children are safely out of the street.
  • Take care when driving in reverse.
  • Proceed with caution through intersections, coming to a complete stop when required.

Be safe, and keep the children safe.

Source: Abilene Reporter-News, "DPS official, AAA Texas urges attentive driving," Denise Blaz, August 20, 2012

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