Summer is coming to an end and school is starting. This means busy schedules, extracurricular activities and lots of driving. It also means unique hazards while you are on the road this time of year.
Follow these tips for a safe back-to-school start for you and your children. Focusing on what you can control will help you avoid getting into a car accident.
School zones are filled with rushing traffic and distracted pedestrians. Follow the speed limit of the school zone to reduce the risk of another vehicle crashing into you or you hitting a child. Also be sure to make complete stops at signs and crosswalks and to check your blind spots before pulling in or out of traffic.
Use seat belts and car seats
According to the CDC, seat belts cut your chances of injury or death in an accident by half, yet less than half of those who died in an accident in 2015 were wearing their seat belts. No matter how short or close by your trip is, everyone in the car should buckle up. If you have young children, make sure they meet California requirements for car seats, boosters and front-passenger riding.
Watch out for young drivers
Although summer may be ending, the partying goes on at the beginning of a new college year. Keep an eye out for signs of drunk driving. Also, many high schoolers and college freshmen may have received their licenses during the summer. Teen drivers are less experienced, more reckless and likelier to succumb to distractions (such as texting). Stay alert when around young drivers to prevent a collision.
Be aware of bicyclists
Both children and college students alike may ride bicycles to school. Share the road with them and stay aware of their location. Allow for plenty of room before passing a cyclist. If your child rides a bike, insist on helmet use. Like seat belts, helmets significantly lower the risk of injury.