Many of our visitors to our website are new to driving so this may be the first year you’ve driven when school is in session. This adds even more stress to the new driver’s list of things to look out for.
The most common thing people think of when talking about going back to school and driving is stopping for school busses. There are certain things you just can’t get away with and passing a sitting school bus is one of them. If they have their warning flashers on and the flags out, just don’t pass them. People get so upset at this they will call the police on you if they see you doing it. But stopping for a school bus is only part of it.
One of the most dangerous things that happens can deal with school buses but it is the kids that present the danger. Often, kids will dart out from behind vehicles and there is next to no time to react. It can be between parked cars on the side of the street or out from behind the bus.
One of the problems is that kids just are not that good of judges of speed. They ride bicycles around and just can’t get their heads around the speed that cars travel. The amount of distance a car covers in a few seconds just does not work out in their heads yet. So kids can be standing at the side of the road and think they can beat a car and will sprint across the street. When as drivers you know full well that kid will never make it.
Plus, with kids being back in school they see all their friends they didn’t over the summer and reconnect. This leads to a lot of socializing and a lot of being out and about in the neighborhood. When you are driving in neighborhoods be especially wary of kids playing in yards and vacant lots. They can take off after a ball or toy in a split second without even looking for any danger and sprint right out in front of your car.
When you are given the responsibility of driving you need to be not only responsible for yourself and all the passengers in your vehicle with you but for everyone around you both in vehicles and not. This is the knowledge that is learned over time.
You learn to anticipate what that person is going to do at the intersection in front of you. You can tell when someone is going to cut in front of you in traffic by the way they position their vehicle. You can tell when an idiot kid isn’t going to look before crossing the street and is going to dart out in front of you. That is why it is so extremely important that you are paying complete attention all the time when behind the wheel. It only takes literally a split second for things to happen and if you are not prepared and ready at the wheel you are probably going to be in an accident. The problem is accidents with vehicles can mean the end of someone’s life.
As you have heard repeatedly in class and probably for the last few years in school: the greatest cause of death for late teenagers is from accidents. This is 100% preventable. All you have to do is pay attention. Now that school is back in session just a little more care should be used.