AAA provides safety tips for driving in school zones as back to school approaches

·3 min read

A new AAA survey shows that many drivers admit to speeding and using their phones while driving through school zones, and the auto club group has the top safety tips for drivers to stay safe as back to school approaches.

According to the survey by AAA, 44% of people admitted to speeding while driving in an active school zone and 30% of people admitted to using their phone while driving in a school zone.

“When driving through a school zone, it’s extremely important that you lower your speed and raise your awareness to ensure you can respond to any potential hazards on the roadway,” AAA spokesperson Tiffany Wright said. “Remember, in North Carolina it is illegal to use your handheld mobile device while driving through an active school zone.”

AAA said that as back to school approaches, it’s important to stay safe, especially with more traffic.

“Expect more foot traffic in neighborhoods and along city streets. Since children can move quickly and cross the road unexpectedly, it’s important to constantly scan the road for people while driving and be ready to stop at a moment’s notice. You can reduce risk of injury by slowing down and avoiding distractions like using your cell phone or eating while driving,” said Wright.

ALSO READ: Driver shortages leading to bus delays and changes at school districts in the Carolinas

The Auto Club Group advises drivers to:

  • Slow down in school zones. A pedestrian hit by a car traveling at 25 miles per hour is two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian hit by a car traveling even 10 miles per hour faster.

  • Come to a complete stop. More than 1/3 of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones.

  • Take away any distractions. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for even two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.

  • Share the road with cyclists. Children on bicycles are often unsteady and unpredictable.

  • Talk to your teen. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for teens in the U.S, and 1 in 4 fatal crashes involving teens happen after school hours.

Tips for Pedestrians:

  • Pay attention at all times. Avoid texting or wearing headphones.

  • Use sidewalks where available or walk against the direction of traffic to see oncoming cars.

  • Make yourself easier to be seen by wearing reflective, bright clothing.

ALSO READ: Driver shortages leading to bus delays and changes at school districts in the Carolinas

Tips for Bicyclists:

  • Wear a helmet and neon or bright colored clothing.

  • Ride in the same direction as traffic and stay as far to the right as possible.

  • Do not wear headphones so you can hear traffic.

  • Cross the street at intersection.

For students at the bus stop:

  • Arrive at least 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

  • Stay five steps away from the club.

  • Be alert and remove headphones so you can hear oncoming traffic.

  • Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and bus driver signals for you to board.

ALSO READ: LOCAL ‘A family business’: Siblings follow in parents’ footsteps to educate students

It’s also important to know as drivers that when a school bus is stopped with its red lights flashing and STOP arms extended, drivers must stop as well.

On a two-lane street, all drivers moving in either direction on a two-way street must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal and remain stopped until the road is clear of children and the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.

In a multi-lane paved median, all drivers moving in either direction must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children and the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.

On a divided highway, traffic approaching an oncoming school bus doesn’t need to stop if there is a raised barrier or a concrete divider or at least five feet of unpaved space separating the lanes of traffic.

For more back to school tips, click here.

(WATCH BELOW: AAA Activates ‘Tow to Go’ in Charlotte for Independence Day Holiday Weekend)