The start of a new school year is always filled with adjustments. That includes changes to traffic. School buses get back on the roads after summer break. New and inexperienced drivers become morning commuters. Kids climb on their bikes and ride to school. South Carolina drivers must keep all of these factors in mind as we move into the school year together.
Stewart Law Offices is here to refresh our driving brains for the fall. Read our Back to School Driving Safety Tips to get the school year off to a safe, accident-and-injury-free start.
If You’re in Neighborhoods…
- Drive slowly. There will be more pedestrians on the roads — and much younger ones. It’s important to drive cautiously so that you have time to respond if a child darts into the road without looking both ways.
- Don’t pass school buses. If a school bus is slowing to pick up students, you are not allowed to pass on a two-lane road when the red light is flashing and the stop sign is extended, even if you are traveling in the opposite direction. On roads with four or more lanes, drivers coming in the opposite direction are not required to stop, but it’s smart to slow down and proceed with caution.
- Back up carefully. Be especially cautious backing out of your driveway and in school parking lots. According to the nonprofit KidsandCars.org, at least 50 children are backed over every week in the United States.
- Look out for bikes. Tis the season for kids to pull out their bikes and ride to school. Remember that bikes are less visible in traffic, particularly with smaller riders.
In School Zones…
- Obey the speed limit. If you’re not sure what the posted speed limit in the school zone is, go with the standard 25 m.p.h. rule to be safe.
- No double parking. It’s difficult to see if you’ve double parked in a school zone.
- Follow your school’s carpool rules. Schools are very specific in planning traffic flow during pickup and drop-off times. Learn the policy and follow it.
- Stay off the phone. The last thing you should be in a school zone is distracted. Children are unreliable as pedestrians. You need to be extra alert whenever you are in the vicinity of a school.
With Teen Drivers…
- Be watchful. Young drivers may be overly tentative behind the wheel or overconfident. If you’re around a new driver, don’t assume that he or she will be predictable in traffic. Be prepared for any potential scenario by maintaining extra distance and remaining patient.
- Support your teen. If you’re the parent of a teen driver, set driving rules and expectations. Consider signing a parent-teen driving contract like this one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
South Carolinians all have a responsibility to keep back to school driving as safe as possible. If you or a loved one has already been hurt in a crash, a compassionate South Carolina car accident lawyer at Stewart Law Offices can meet with you to discuss your legal options.
Don’t wait to learn about your rights to compensation. Call us today for a free consultation.
For more information regarding back to school driving safety, please visit http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/back-to-school-safety-tips-for-drivers.aspx.
Originally published September, 2017. Refreshed August, 2020.