Watch Out For School Buses And Children

Sharing the roads and highways with school buses and children walking along the roadway is an adjustment that the professional driver must make at this time of year. Be particularly alert and cautious around school zones.

Back To School

Students must once again become accustomed to walking to school or waiting for the school bus to arrive. Although the school break only lasts for three months, it is long enough for many students to forget the safety lessons and habits they learned in the previous school year. The skillful driver must be constantly aware of the hazards that come with the opening of school. Whether you are driving in urban, suburban or rural areas, this hazard is always present and requires constant attention during the hours when school buses and children may be on the streets and highways.

Be Alert!!!

Always be aware of your surroundings and watch out for school buses that may stop on the highway to pickup or discharge children. Remember, on undivided highways both lanes of traffic must stop for school buses when they load and unload passengers. Always be alert for children darting across the street to board the bus and always be on the lookout for children that may run across the street after getting off the school bus. Leave a safety cushion between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. Four seconds is the absolute minimum when following a school bus.

Watch Out For Pedestrians

Many children walk to school, either by choice or necessity, and may not be as attentive as they should be. Be alert for children walking. Pedestrians are difficult to see in early morning and late evening. Many children and young adults travel to school by car. Be aware of automobiles that may be carrying school children. Drivers of these vehicles may be distracted by the activities and actions of their passengers. Automobiles that are being operated by teenage drivers are also a potential hazard to even the most qualified driver. Teen drivers are generally inexperienced in different driving conditions and may lose control of their vehicles in bad weather. They also have a tendency to drive too fast for road conditions and their driving abilities.

School Is Open!!!

Students are not always aware of their own safety. Their attention is not always on what they are, or should, be doing. The well-trained driver must drive defensively and be aware of the potentially dangerous conditions that are present when schools are open.