As August winds down and the school year starts, more people will be on the roads in the morning. School buses, vans, young drivers, and walkers will all be part of the morning commute. It is important to keep in mind a few simple tips.

School bus with stop sign taking children back to school

  1. Do not pass buses. You should never attempt to pass a bus, especially when it is stopped and its lights are flashing. School buses stop to pick up passengers as young as 4 years old, who expect drivers to stop while they cross the street and may not be aware of dangerous drivers. Additionally, it is against the law in all 50 states to pass a bus when its lights are on.
  2. Slow down. According to the National Safety Council, more children are hit by cars while in school zones than any other location. Excitement and distractions could cause children to accidentally enter the street, especially elementary aged students. If you are obeying all traffic laws, including the speed limit, you should have plenty of time to react and slow down if you need to.
  3. man in a car stopped behind a school busHave patience. Everyone knows that your commute is going to take a few minutes longer if you get stuck behind a bus, or have to driver through a school zone. But, as school bus drivers and their students become more familiar with their routes, delays will lessen. Additionally, if you adjust your commute so that you leave just a few minutes earlier, you will likely not become stuck behind a bus in the first place. Having patience while dealing with a slightly longer commute could save lives.

For more safe driving tips for back to school, visit the National Safety Council’s website.