With many kids going back to school this month, now is a great time to brush up on safe driving tips to keep children, parents, yourself and your passengers safe by avoiding an auto accident:
- Obey posted speed limits. Including posted school-zone speed restrictions, which may be as low as 15 mph during certain times or when the lights on the sign are flashing. Reduced speeds reduce the risk of a crash and can reduce the severity of injuries in the event of a crash.
- Allow more time to get to your destination. It's normal for traffic to change once school starts. You may notice more traffic congestion on your route to work. To avoid a situation where you feel you need to speed to make up time, adjust your schedule to leave a little earlier. Leaving just 5-10 minutes earlier may be all that is needed to accommodate increased traffic, a stop for a school bus or reduced speed in a school zone.
- Be aware of areas where school buses stop along your route. Red flashing lights and an extended "stop" sign mean you should stop your vehicle so children can get on and off the bus safely. It is unlawful to pass a school bus that has the "stop" arm extended and the red lights flashing.
- Yield right-of-way to pedestrians and stay alert. Some children walk and bike to school. Remember to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Be alert for pedestrians walking in the road or across your driveway. Unaccompanied children may walk where they aren't supposed to, such as in the street instead of the sidewalk. Despite the best efforts of their parents, children may also forget to check for cars as they enter a crosswalk or walk across your driveway. Do your part to keep children safe by being alert for their presence as pedestrians.
- Don't drive distracted. Texting, reading, personal grooming, fidgeting with GPS devices and talking on the phone are all things that distract you from the task of driving. It's important to drive distraction-free at all times, but the beginning of the school year is a good time to remind yourself of this. With your focus on the road instead of your phone, you can be alert for children and school buses.
These tips can help you work to keep everyone safe, both those who are traveling by car and bus, and those traveling on foot.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle crash in Redondo Beach, Torrance, South Bay or any of the surrounding areas, please call the experienced accident attorneys at Kirtland & Packard, LLP, at 310-536-1000. We offer a free case evaluation and will make sure you know all of your options for pursuing compensation.