AAA’s School’s Open-Drive Carefully Campaign Urges Back-to-School Safety
FLORIDA – According to an online article at ospreyobserver.com, AAA urges drivers to remain alert and slow down, as they are sharing the road with millions of students in Florida who are going back to school. Not doing so can result in life-altering consequences.*
According to the Transportation Research Board, about 100 school-aged children die on an annual basis while walking to or from school and 25,000 children sustain injuries. During the afternoon and early evening is when accidents are most likely. Specifically, over the last ten years, about one in four child-pedestrian deaths happened between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. To avoid these accidents, drivers should prepare for the following:
- Congestion. There are more drivers in the afternoon and morning hours than at any other time.
- Pedestrians. This includes students that are walking to and from school or who are walking to a bus stop.
- Buses. This includes buses that are picking students up and dropping them off.
- Bicyclists. There are several students who travel to and from school on a bicycle.
“AAA urges drivers to allow extra time for their morning commute and use extreme caution, even outside of school zones,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesperson for AAA. “Throughout town, students will be walking or pedaling alongside city streets on their way to-and-from school or the bus stop; and they may not be familiar with the rules of the road. It’s incumbent on drivers to eliminate distractions, slow down and watch out for students and their families.”
According to AAA’s School’s Open-Drive Carefully campaign, it is reminding motorists to do as follows:
- Reduce your speed. There are speed limits in school zones for a reason. Since there are many students crossing the roadway to get to and from school, drivers are urged to be alert and vigilant in these areas.
- When at a stop sign, come to a complete stop. Over 1/3 of drivers do not fully stop at stop signs in school zones or in neighborhoods. This is why drivers must come to a complete stop, always checking for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before moving forward.
- Stop the distractions. Research indicates that those who engage in distractions double their chances of being involved in a crash. Drivers must put down their cell phones and avoid other distractions such as eating to avoid a crash.
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