4 Safety Tips For Driving in School Zones

Aug 21 2017

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Kids are heading back to school and congestion around school grounds will be on the minds of many truck drivers. Roads will be dappled with yellow school buses loading or unloading children and parents dropping off or picking up kids, as well as staff on the sidewalks guiding young people to their destinations. With heavier traffic, it’s important for truck drivers to be attentive and help keep school zones safe.

Check out our safety tips below as good reminders on how to remain safe around schools.

Driving Safety Tips:

Be on the lookout:

  • When backing into or leaving a customer’s lot, be on the lookout for children walking or bicycling to school.
  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for children crossing the street and exiting or entering vehicles.
  • Look left and right at each intersection and then make sure to check again.

Slow down:

  • When you are near a school, be sure to go the school zone speed limit or slower if needed, and cautiously watch for children playing, congregating near bus stops or walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood.

Keep your distance:

  • It is critical to establish and maintain an adequate following distance
  • Be aware of any hazards ahead and give yourself enough time and space to come to a controlled stop.
  • When stopped in traffic, keep about 20-25 feet of space between your front bumper and the vehicle ahead.
  • Leave plenty of room at crosswalks.

Be aware of school buses:

  • Keep state school bus laws in mind when behind or approaching a bus and familiarize yourself with the flashing signal lights that bus drivers use to alert motorists:
    • Yellow flashing lightsindicate that the bus is preparing to stop. Drivers should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
    • Red flashing lightsand extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped and children are entering or exiting the bus. Drivers must stop their vehicles and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the stop-arm is withdrawn and the bus begins moving. Drivers can then begin to drive again.

By adjusting to change in the flow of traffic and taking prompt action to avoid any emergency situations, we can keep drivers, roads and children safe this school year.

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