As summer winds to a close, kids are getting ready to head back to school, which means school buses are back on the road along with kids out walking to and from school. As drivers, we have a responsibility to share the road and always be aware of our surroundings, especially in mornings and afternoons and in school zones. According to the National Safety Council, more children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location, and most of these victims are between the ages of 4 and 7 years old.
You can help prevent these types of accidents by following a few simple safe driving tips:
- If you are dropping off your child at school, make sure to drop them off directly in front of their school rather than across the street to avoid having to cross traffic.
- Avoid double parking in front of your child’s school, as this blocks visibility for other children and vehicles and could contribute to an accident.
- Consider carpooling to help reduce the number of vehicles at school.
- Never attempt to pass a school bus from behind when its lights are flashing and its stop sign is extended (it is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that has stopped to load or unload children). Drivers must stay stopped until the bus’s red lights stop flashing.
- Never attempt to pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
- Never stop in a crosswalk, as this can cause a pedestrian to walk past the limit line and into the path of oncoming traffic. NH Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
- Reduce your speed and stay alert when you enter into residential neighborhoods, school zones, parks, and playgrounds.
- Do not follow a school bus too closely! Allow enough distance between your vehicle and the bus so that you can safely brake when the bus slows to a stop.
Keep in mind that children can be unpredictable and may ignore dangers and take risks. Always exercise extreme caution when driving near school zones or any other area where children may be present. Not only can the above tips help prevent an accident, but it can also protect you from expensive fines and legal consequences.
If you are seeking a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer after a preventable accident, contact Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. to request a free consultation. Our firm serves clients throughout New Hampshire and Maine from office locations in Manchester, Concord, Dover, Meredith, Saco, and Portland.