Back to School Requires Driving Awareness

As summer ends and school bells ring again, roads are about to get busier with the return of students to their classrooms. This transition from relaxed summer driving to the more structured routines of the school year, requires extra caution and attention from all drivers due to increased pedestrian traffic. Whether you're a parent, student, or commuter, here are some crucial driving tips from Young Drivers of Canada to remember as kids return to school.

Young Drivers of Canada Tips for Back-to-School Driving

1.    Mind the Speed Limits: With the influx of school buses, pedestrians, and bicyclists, it's essential to adhere to posted speed limits, especially in school zones and residential areas. Slow down and be prepared to stop at any moment to ensure the safety of children and pedestrians.

2.    Obey School Bus Rules: Always stop for a school bus to pick up or drop off students. It's a legal requirement and ensures the safety of children crossing the road. Wait until the bus moves to proceed on your journey. 

3.    Stay Alert: Increased pedestrian traffic around schools means you must be vigilant. Kids can be unpredictable, so be ready for them to dart out into the road unexpectedly. Put away any distractions like phones and avoid activities that take your attention away from the road.

Obey The Rules of the Road

4.    No Passing in School Zones: Passing other vehicles in school zones is dangerous and often illegal. Keep space from the car before you and be prepared to stop at any time.

5.    Use Crosswalks: If you're a student walking to school, always use crosswalks and follow pedestrian signals. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing to ensure they see you.

6.    Buckle Up: Regardless of whether you're a driver or a passenger, make sure your seatbelt is fastened. Seatbelts are crucial for everyone's safety.

7.    Plan for Delays: School zones and nearby roads can experience traffic congestion during drop-off and pick-up and drop-off times. Give yourself extra time in the morning to account for potential delays and consider using alternate routes.

8.    Watch for Bicyclists: Many students ride bicycles to school. Give them plenty of space and do so slowly and carefully when passing. Remember, some cyclists may have limited experience sharing the road with vehicles.

9.    Avoid Distracted Driving: Keep your focus on the road. Avoid texting, eating, grooming, or other activities that distract you from driving safely.

10.    Teach Children Responsible Safety Habits: If you're a parent or caregiver, teach your children about road safety. Ensure they look both ways before crossing the street, use designated crosswalks, and are cautious around moving vehicles. 

11.    Be Patient: Traffic around schools can be slow, but it's essential to remain patient and not succumb to road rage. Everyone is navigating and returning to the back-to-school traffic and routine, so take a deep breath and stay calm.

12.    Take a Driving Refresher Course: If you are feeling uncomfortable driving in back-to-school conditions, you can always take a driver refresher course, which will help guide you when it comes to situations such as those experienced in school pick-up and drop-off zones, high pedestrian traffic and school zones. Visit www.yd.com for additional information. 

13.    Share Information: Spread these driving tips from Young Drivers of Canada within your community. The more people are aware of safe driving practices during the school season, the better everyone's safety will be ensured.

As the back-to-school season changes traffic patterns and increased activity around schools, it's crucial to approach driving with heightened awareness and caution. By following these driving tips by Young Drivers of Canada, you can contribute to a safer environment for students, parents, and fellow commuters alike. Remember, the goal is to reach your destination safely.