August and September is the time of year when school reopens for the school year in Massachusetts, meaning more road users, including children on bikes and inexperienced teen drivers. This is the perfect time to remind yourself of the safety tips unique to this time of the year.
Safety tips when sharing the road with young pedestrians
Sometimes, children can be reckless when they’re biking on the road or even walking on the sidewalk. They can make a move so unpredictable that it can leave even the most experienced drivers liable to err. As a driver, you must be extra cautious when driving in areas populated by pedestrians, such as school zones and residential neighborhoods. Some helpful tips include:
- Be especially watchful for children running into the street from between parked cars or from behind bushes and trees
- Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians; it is illegal in Massachusetts and very dangerous
- Use extra caution when backing up because children can move into your path quickly and without warning
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when approaching a crosswalk or intersection, even if there is no stop sign or traffic signal
Safety tips when picking up or dropping off children at school
If you have a child in school, you are probably aware of the rules set by their administration regarding how to pick them up or drop them off, and it’s important to follow these thoroughly. Other additional tips include:
- Never double parking because it blocks traffic
- Do not your blow your horn because it can startle small children crossing the street or make it difficult for pedestrians to hear approaching traffic
- Use caution when opening your door to exit the vehicle; watch for cyclists, other vehicles, and pedestrians who may be passing by
- Never leaving your car unattended in a loading zone or crosswalk
Safety tips for teen drivers
Teens are the most inexperienced drivers on the road, and they are also more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents. As a parent or guardian of a teen driver, you can help by teaching them good driving habits and setting rules for when they are behind the wheel. You can also encourage your teen to enroll in driver’s education courses. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous.
Hurting a student in a road accident, even if it’s their fault, is one of the worst experiences a person can go through. As an adult, you have a greater responsibility to avoid accidents.