Traffic safety paramount to starting off school year right


About 33% of child pedestrian deaths happen right after school, between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. That statistic is according to AAA. The auto insurance company reminds people to take care before, during, and after school hours. The company says a lot of the problems come from drivers’ inattention.

AAA urges people to slow down. Obey the speed limits posted in school zones, and look in all directions while in those zones. AAA says even 10 mph can make the difference between life and death. Pay attention to any crossing guards or police officers who may be patrolling the school area.

Eliminating distractions will hone drivers’ focus back on the road. Children may not always see motorists, and AAA says kids are prone to dart out into the road.

Parents should also talk to teenagers. According to AAA, car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. The auto insurer adds more than 25% of deadly car crashes involving teen drivers happen between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

AAA warns drivers to come to a complete stop. They advise rolling through stop signs in school zones and neighborhoods can be a bad habit, possibly leading to unintended consequences. Also watch for bicycles, as many children can be slow, inexperienced, unsteady, or unpredictable. Allow at least three feet of passing distance between a vehicle and a bicycle. Anyone riding bikes should have a fitted helmet.

The auto insurer points to research that found drivers who took their eyes off the road for two seconds doubled their chances to crash. AAA also reminds drivers to back up, or reverse the car, responsibly, and tell kids to never play in, under, or around parked or moving vehicles.

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