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California Back to School Safe Driving Guide

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HOW IS THE PANDEMIC GOING TO AFFECT DRIVING SAFETY AT SCHOOLS?

According to Findings Press, the Pandemic has resulted in fewer cars but increased speeds. This may be due to the empty roads. According to an statistics from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation cited by Los Angeles Times, there was only a slight decrease in traffic fatalities even though traffic volume was down 30% – 50%. Needless to say, the roads are still, if not more, dangerous.

SCHOOL'S OPEN - DRIVE CAREFULLY

The American Automobile Association launches an annual “School’s Open – Drive Carefully” campaign. In these campaigns, they describe the increased risks of driving when school is opening back up.

Usually, back-to-school sessions would result in an increase in foot traffic on sidewalks, crosswalks, and school zones. During the Pandemic, there are more who are learning virtually. That being said, everywhere should be considered a “school zone,” according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

There are different safety challenges for drivers, meaning that there may be more bicyclists and pedestrians during the day in local neighborhoods.

"This year's extraordinary circumstances require that motorists carry that same vigilance wherever they drive, as typical school zone activity moves closer to home."

Anita Lorz-Villagrana, Auto Club Traffic Safety and Community Programs Manager Tweet

The AAA came out with many of the following tips:

  • Drive slow. In school zones, speed limits are lower. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle at 35 mph is 66% more likely to be killed than a pedestrian struck by a vehicle at 25 mph. Many school districts have different bus loading and unloading times so that students are more safely separated. Therefore, school zones will likely be in high activity for longer periods of time.
  • Anticipate young pedestrians in neighborhoods during the day. Because more young students learning virtually, they may be outside playing at various parts of the day. Therefore, neighborhoods should be treated as school zones. Slow down and watch for kids near the street.
  • Stop completely. Research according to AAA shows that over 33% of drivers do not completely stop at stop signs in neighborhoods or school zones. Come to a complete stop, and always look for young pedestrians on crosswalks and sidewalks before driving through.
  • Take away distractions. Even if a person takes their eyes off the road for two seconds, their risk of crashing doubles. Young pedestrians can sometimes dart out into the street unexpectedly.
  • Look out for bicyclists. Kids on bicycles are many times not so experienced or predictable. You should drive slowly and have at least three feet between you and any bicyclist on the road. Every bicyclist should also be wearing a properly fitted helmet.

BACK TO SCHOOL SAFE DRIVING TIPS

The National Safety Council also came out with various guidelines to follow in regard to driving near schools. School days can result in more traffic. School buses are loading and unloading, parents are picking up and dropping off kids, and children on bicycles going fast to get to class on time. 

SCHOOL ZONE DRIVING SAFETY TIPS

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SHARING THE ROAD WITH YOUNG PEDESTRIANS

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SHARING THE ROAD WITH SCHOOL BUSES

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SHARING THE ROAD WITH BICYCLISTS

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