The end of summer came all too quickly for most of us in New England. With school back in session now, it’s important to remember that there are more people on the roads these days, especially little ones. Whether you, your child, or someone you know is headed back to school, it’s on all of us to keep the roads safe — which is why we’re offering back to school safe driving tips for everyone.
In Massachusetts, speed zone limits typically range between 15 and 25 mph, and are strictly enforced by law enforcement officials. When driving during school hours, follow these rules:
- Obey posted signs. Look for posted speed limit signs when in a school zone and slow down accordingly. School zone signs typically flash during arrival and dismissal hours, so make sure you keep an eye out!
- Stop for children. In a school zone, you must stop for children and crossing guards in any marked crosswalk.
- Drive slow and be alert. Children aren’t always as careful as they should be when it comes to crossing the street. Remember, if a child is trying to cross the street near parked cars, it may be difficult to see them until they are in the road. Drive slowly and cautiously, especially when driving through a school zone.
The big yellow bus is back on the road. These tips can help you share the road with school buses:
- Never pass a bus. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus from either direction if it is stopped to load or unload children.
- Increase following distance. When following a bus, allow for a greater distance than if you were driving behind a car.
Are you driving all the kids in the neighborhood to school? When carpooling, these safe driving practices can help you get to and from school safely:
- Take your car in for routine maintenance. Before you volunteer to drive everyone to and from school, take your car in for its routine maintenance.
- Buckle up and make sure everyone else does. In a carpool, it’s up to the driver to make sure everyone is wearing a seat belt.
- Limit distractions. A car full of kids can be a little chaotic, which is all the more reason it’s important to limit any other distractions and keep your eyes on the road.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are 660,000 distracted drivers on the road at any given time. Distracted driving is anything that diverts your attention from the road. This can include talking and texting, eating and drinking, or fiddling with the radio. Distractions put everyone on the road at risk — here are some tips to keep your hands free and eyes focused on the road:
- Put your phone away. Put your phone out of sight while driving, this will help alleviate temptation to use it while behind the wheel.
- Plan ahead. Give yourself enough time to enjoy your morning coffee and breakfast before you leave your house.
- Pull over if you need to. If you do need to answer your phone, or reroute your gps, find a safe spot to pull over before using your device.
Students are headed back to school, and with more people on the road, it’s on all of us to keep our communities and roadways safe. Here at KW Insurance, we want to help to help you do just that — if you have questions about safe driving tips or your auto insurance policy, we are happy to help. You can visit our website give us a call at 781.751.9080 (Dedham) or 617.492.4150 (Cambridge) for more information.