The summer months make it easier for motorists and commuters to get where they’re going. Why? No school buses and fewer child pedestrians, for starters. Drivers are in danger of getting lazy about going through school zones and must reacclimate to lower speed limits and reestablish their awareness of crossing guards, students, and parents, not only in school zones but everywhere. Back-to-school car accidents and pedestrian accidents can and do happen. Don’t contribute to that statistic.
1. Be Aware of Bus Stops
That intersection you tend to glide through in your sleepy neighborhood? Come September, bus stops will be reestablished. Kids will be on corners, waiting for their rides to school. Far too often, children are hit during the morning wait for the bus.
Whether you have kids or not, be aware of when school starts in your area and watch for children who are on foot and on bicycles. They may be rushing to make the bus, not paying attention to traffic, or be distracted by friends or their phones while they wait. Sure, they should finetune their awareness too, but you’re the one in the vehicle – stay alert to avoid a pedestrian accident.
2. Stop for School Buses
It is the law to stop for school buses, whether you’re behind them or coming toward each other. There is a reason the lights of a school bus flash the arm with a stop sign on it comes out. Kids need to be able to cross the road safely and make it to the sidewalk or a waiting parent without worrying that a passing car or impatient driver will ignore the order to stop.
Plus, kids are unpredictable – their path could change in an instant. Don’t follow too closely behind a bus or try to speed up to zoom past it before it comes to a complete stop.
3. Account for Traffic Congestion
Even if your commute to work doesn’t take you anywhere near a school zone, morning traffic will be heavier. People will be driving their kids to school and leaving their homes at different times than they have all summer, which means your typical route to work will be slower and more crowded. This can easily contribute to road rage, so you may need to adjust your own departure time to make it to work without rushing, getting frustrated with busier roads, or causing a car accident
4. Look Out for Teen Drivers
Newly minted young drivers will be thrilled to drive to school for the first time, and they’ll be out en masse come September. They might be showing off or distracted by their phones, making them a threat to you and themselves.
5. Anticipate Harried Parents
Parents take the brunt of the morning rush come the start of school, feeling the responsibility of getting their kids ready and to school on time. You may be in the drop-off zone at school yourself, so be sure to keep your awareness up for other cars at drop-off and kids zooming in and out of vehicles or exiting buses.
6. Always Drive Defensively
It’s always important to be alert to your surroundings when you’re behind the wheel, especially before and after school. You’ll recognize those stressed out parents quickly if you’re paying attention. While it’s every driver’s responsibility to follow the rules of the road no matter what the circumstances, always drive defensively and share the road, with pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.
If you have been involved in a Michigan car accident or pedestrian accident, find out how to get compensation for your suffering. Contact David C. Femminineo, Michigan car accident lawyer in Macomb County to schedule your consultation.