Getting your kids ready for the school year is an exciting, nerve-wracking time. You plan for school supplies, new clothes and healthy lunchbox snacks, but no one has probably helped you prepare for school drop-off and pick-up etiquette. Thankfully, we’re here with ten tips to help you and your kids stay safe in and out of school zones.
10 School Zone Safety Hacks
1. Drop off and pick up kids in designated areas.
Keep children safe when dropping them off or picking them up at a designated curb area. Never drop off or pick up your kids in between driving lanes or from a traffic-facing door.
2. Accompany your small children.
Small children should be accompanied to school or to their classroom rather than being dropped off. If your child is new to school, you will both feel more comfortable during this new phase of life, and you’ll have peace-of-mind knowing your kiddo gets through the door safe and sound.
3. Come to a complete stop.
Did you know that more than a third of drivers cruise through stop signs in school zones and neighborhoods? This is extremely dangerous and can cause unnecessary accidents and injuries. Instead, you should always come to a complete stop and check carefully for kids on sidewalks and pedestrians in crosswalks before proceeding.
4. Drive the speed limit.
This rule may seem obvious, but some drivers, including parents, whiz through school zones to get their kids to school on time. Obeying the speed limit is necessary no matter what, especially during school traffic hours.
5. Steer clear of the crosswalks.
Whether you’re making a brief stop or parking more an extended period, make sure to stay out of the crosswalks. These designates areas are meant to keep kids safe, and idling cars can get in the way.
6. Don’t use your cell phone.
Distracted driving is a major no-no, especially in school zones. That buzzing text message or phone call can wait, and the safety of your children and the other kids being dropped off or picked up from school is much more important. According to AAA, taking your eyes off the road for even two seconds can double your chance of crashing.
7. Keep an eye out for bike riders.
Stay aware of any children on bikes in school zones. Kids are typically inexperienced and unpredictable when riding bikes, so try to allow at least three feet of passing distance between your car and bike riders.
8. Follow school rules.
One of the best ways to stay safe in school zones is to familiarize yourself with the pick-up and drop-off regulations at your child’s school. Crossing guards, police officers and other school officials are there to keep everyone safe. Follow their instructions to navigate the pick-up and drop-off process safely, and always pay attention to where school zones are located in your neighborhood.
9. Be on the lookout for school buses.
Passing a stopped school bus that is picking up or dropping off children is illegal in all 50 states. This risky behavior can put children in danger as well as yourself and comes with a hefty fine. Always avoid distractions while driving and watch out for school buses, especially during school pick-up and drop-off hours.
10. Stay calm on the road.
Everyone gets road rage from time to time, but is it ever worth it? Resist the urge to engage in parental road rage from running late or spilling coffee, and try not to let frustration get the best of you. It’s more constructive to be kind to yourself, your kids and fellow drivers on the road.