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The wheels on the bus go round and round. But first they slow down, speed up, slow down again, stop for the kid running to the bus stop, and then speed up again until repeating the process in another, um, like 46 seconds. Back to school time can definitely be a rough time for drivers.
Back to school is a generally happy time. Most kids won't admit it, but they usually miss their routine and their friends and, yes, possibly even their teachers (gasp!). But as this exciting time brings a lot of new memories and opportunities plus the promise of a new, great year, it also brings lots of dangers. More teenage drivers on the road... missing turns, forgetting blinkers, and not always making the best driving choices. Lots of school buses on the road... slowing down, stopping constantly, and making you late. Kids taking their good 'ol time. Drivers short stopping (and having short tempers). It's a mess especially right at the beginning as everyone gets used to their new routes.
With many schools in the area starting up a new year, bus routes may return to your area soon. Those annoying new teenage drivers in their beat up trucks (obviously having had a few oopsies already in their short driving career) are also out in full force. But remember that these buses and beat up trucks are carrying very precious cargo. Just slow down, and allow extra time so these inconveniences don't make you late for work or wherever you're going. Distracted drivers and people in a rush, among other groups, can make the roads very dangerous.
It's important to drive safely to protect everyone. Sober driving is a great start but make sure you also avoid distracted driving.
There were 264 school-age children killed in school transportation related accidents from 2008-2017. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the greatest risk to a child isn’t riding a bus, but approaching or leaving one.
Yellow flashing lights: Slow down — don’t speed up — because the bus is preparing to stop. There are likely students waiting to get on the bus or parents waiting nearby to pick up children.
Red flashing lights: Stop — and wait at least 20 feet behind the bus — because children are getting on or off the school bus. Stay stopped until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving.
Even when lights aren’t flashing: Watch for children, particularly in the morning or mid-afternoon, around school arrival and dismissal times. Be alert as you back out of a driveway or drive through a neighborhood, school zone, or bus stop.
We work hard each day to help keep the roads safe by separating drinking and driving. Do your part to keep our roads safe... especially during this busy back to school time. If you struggle monitoring your alcohol consumption and worry about how that can affect your driving, please contact us at Smart Start of Alabama to see how our ignition interlock device products can help.
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