How to Share the Road During Back to School

How to Share the Road During Back to School

With the kids back to school, parents and other drivers need to exercise extra caution in the mornings and mid-afternoons, especially when driving in or near school zones. It is critical to be mindful of sharing the road with families dropping off students, school buses, and children heading to school on foot or on a bike. 

Know the Rules for Drop-Offs/Pick-Ups

If you drive your kids to school, it is important to know the local traffic laws that apply to school zones and what specific rules and procedures your child’s school has for drop-off and pick-up. Some common rules include:

  • Do not double park as it can block children and approaching drivers from seeing one another
  • Try to pull up to the side of the street where the school is located so that kids do not need to cross the street
  • Consider carpooling to reduce the number of vehicles in the school parking lot or in the school zone

Sharing the Road with Kids Walking to School

Unfortunately, younger children are especially at risk of catastrophic or fatal injuries in a pedestrian accident. Kids may be hit by drivers when trying to cross the street or when getting onto or off the school bus. Tips to keep in mind to help keep child pedestrians safe as they head to school include:

  • Avoid blocking marked crosswalks when stopped for red lights or traffic, since it will force pedestrians to step out into the street where they might be hit by moving traffic
  • Always yield whenever you see flashing yellow or amber lights as that indicates that pedestrians are crossing at a crosswalk
  • Always stop for traffic officers or crossing guards when they hold up a stop sign
  • Drive slowly near or in school zones, watching out for children who may suddenly step out into the road
  • Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for a pedestrian
  • Always yield to a pedestrian in the roadway, even if you legally have the right of way

Sharing the Road with Bicycles

Many children bike to school, so motorists should also exercise extra caution when driving around kids on bicycles. Important tips for sharing the road with bicycles include:

  • Move over to the left lane if one is available to pass a bicycle; if no left lane is available, you can cross the centerline when safe to do so, leaving at least three to five feet between you and the bicycle
  • Check your side mirrors when turning left or right for an oncoming cyclist; always use your turn signals
  • Also, check side mirrors before exiting your vehicle when street parked

School Buses on the Road

Special traffic laws apply to school buses to help them avoid collisions with other vehicles and to keep kids safe as they board or exit the bus. Traffic laws for school buses include:

  • Never pass a stopped bus, especially if it has its lights flashing and stop signs extended
  • If you are on an undivided street or road, it is still illegal to pass a stopped bus traveling in the opposite direction that has its lights flashing and stop signs extended; you may only pass a stopped school bus in the opposing lanes of travel on a road or highway with a central divider or median
  • When stopping for a stopped bus, be sure to leave enough space around the bus to allow children to safely board or disembark
  • Remain alert when driving around buses, as children may unexpectedly do something hazardous such as step into oncoming traffic 

Contact a Lake Worth Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Auto Accident Case in Florida

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to an auto accident in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. represent clients injured because of auto accidents in Miramar, Coral Springs, Davie, Boca Raton, and throughout Florida. Call (561) 533-0345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 813 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth, FL 33460, as well as offices in Pompano Beach.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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