Now that schools are back in session, there’s going to be a lot more activity on the roads. From the increase in school buses to the hustle of cars trying to get to school before 8:00 am, your morning commute just got more interesting. That’s why Scott Sherman Auto Care has provided some helpful reminders to keep you and the roads safe during the month of September.
Residential streets often have narrow lanes and limited visibility, which is why it’s important to decrease your speed to a maximum of 20 mph. We all know the dreaded ball rolling into the street scenario where kids run out without warning. Besides this example, there are countless other reasons a child might cross your path. It’s not essential to know them all, but it’s crucial to be aware of areas where children could suddenly appear, like behind parked cars or from opening car doors.
If you’re in a residential neighborhood, it’s likely because you’re either starting or finishing your commute and are in a hurry to get where you’re going. Although it can be tempting to rush past the houses and traffic circles, even low speed collisions risk severe injury or death for pedestrians. In fact, a 2016 study in ProPublica found that even speeds of 30 mph yield an average pedestrian fatality rate of 20%.
Most people are already familiar with this rule: never pass a stopped school bus with its stop sign out. If the school bus flashes its lights but has not yet stuck out its stop sign, do not try to quickly pass the bus. It is only considered safe and legal to pass if there is a traffic median or multiple lanes between you and the stopped school bus.
Given the frequent amount of frequent stops school buses make, you should leave a large following distance between you and the bus. Also, expect your commute to take a little extra time if you are traveling during school pick up or drop off hours.
For most of the summer, school zones probably went under your radar, and for good reason. Now that they’re being enforced again, they might have caught you off guard. Generally, the limit decreases from 30 mph to 20 mph when lights are flashing. In a collision, this means the difference between a 20% and 7% pedestrian fatality rate. If that is not reason enough, speeding in a school zone yields a ticket of $234 with 14 local schools photo-enforced.
The best rule of thumb in this back-to-school season is paying attention. By offering you these tips, we at Scott Sherman Auto Care hope to provide a safe and enjoyable transition to fall.