BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A week from Thursday many students will head back to school. AAA will be teaming up with local police, to launch the annual “School’s Open- Drive Carefully” campaign.
AAA says dangers on the roads increases tremendously in September. The campaign aims to help reduce the number of school-related pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
Officials want drivers to stop driving while distracted. They are also reminding the public that there are consequences to passing a school bus and texting while driving, with up to five point violations on licenses, insurance ramifications and fines that go with that.
School leaders also say that it is important for students to be aware of their surroundings. Students should look at their bus drivers before crossing roads, to get the signal that it is safe to cross the street. Students should approach the edge of the bus and look for cars, and then look at the bus driver again for the 'okay' to cross.
- Slow down. Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian Boy Walking on School CrossWalkstruck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.
- Come to a complete stop. Research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.
- Eliminate distractions. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. And children can be quick, crossing the road unexpectedly or emerging suddenly between two parked cars. Reduce risk by not using your cell phone or eating while driving, for example.
- Reverse responsibly. Every vehicle has blind spots. Check for children on the sidewalk, in the driveway and around your vehicle before slowly backing up. Teach your children to never play in, under or around vehicles.
- Watch for bicycles. Children on bikes are often inexperienced, unsteady and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and a bicyclist. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that he or she wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet on every ride. Find videos, expert advice and safety tips at ShareTheRoad.AAA.com.
- Talk to your teen. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and more than one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during the after-school hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Get evidence-based guidance and tips at TeenDriving.AAA.com
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