Back-to-school safety tips for motorists
After the laid back summer months, getting back into a routine with your kids can be tough at first. You’re scrambling to get your kids out of bed, in the car, and to class before zipping off to work yourself. Combine that with hundreds of other parents rushing around town, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Consider all zones school zones
School zones mandate reduced speed limits to account for all the children crossing the street, getting off school buses, and exiting cars. But remember that school zones don’t exist in a vacuum; kids are still travelling by foot, by bike, and by car to get to those school zones in the first place. Play it safe by treating all zones with the caution you’d give a school zone, and be mindful of your surroundings.
Follow the sacred rules of the drop off line
“I love waiting in the outrageously long drop-off line,” said no parent ever.
Everyone knows drop-off lines are a pain. They move incredibly slow and test the patience of veteran drivers who’ve experienced the worst of bumper-to-bumper traffic. At times, it may even be tempting to drop your kids off at a spot a little further away from the designated drop off line to save some time. Don’t give in.
Your child’s school has likely created designated drop-off areas with safety cones and assigned staff for a reason. Using them properly, no matter how frustrating, can limit the number of incidents that occur.
And while we know the line can move at a ridiculously slow pace, resist the temptation to scroll through your phone or hop out of your car to talk to other drivers. As they say, keep it moving.
Give bicyclists enough room on the road
Bicyclists are in a vulnerable position on the road. Even if you feel like someone isn’t being the most responsible rider, take the initiative to keep everyone safe by adhering to these best practices:
- Give bicyclists extra space in case either of you needs to make a sudden move
- Double-check your mirrors before turning and don’t assume you can move fast enough to get past a bike before they cross your path
- Study the different cycling hand signals to know when a bicyclist is slowing down, braking, turning right or left