Back to School Driving

By Insurance.com Posted : 08/18/2008

As summer hits its peak, it's time to start thinking about the beginning of the school year. For many, this means adjusting their morning routine, while for others, it simply means more traffic. How does this affect you, and why should you care?

Increased Time and Decreased Speed
Because of the increase in traffic, it's going to take longer to travel. This means you'll need to leave a little earlier. If you're not stuck in traffic, consider driving more slowly. Besides saving on gas, this helps you stop for school buses, and avoid children who dart into the road.

School Buses and Laws
Even if you don't have kids in school, it's not hard to see the increase in school buses around this time. Laws vary by state, but usually you have to stop if a school bus is loading or unloading—no matter what side of the street it's on. Passing a school bus while its red lights are flashing is illegal in every state.

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the local laws regarding school buses. In their guide, "Reducing Illegal Passing of School Buses," the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that many school buses are illegally passed about once a day. Some buses are even passed on the right (the side children use).

School Zones
Another thing to keep in mind as school starts is to be alert in school zones. Check your state's laws regarding school zones. If you're unsure, slow down when school is in session, especially if you see children or crossing guards.

School Safety
Although national School Bus Safety week isn't until the third week of October, now is the time to teach children about school safety. If you have kids, talk to them about what's safe and what isn't. For example, do they know how to cross the street safely, where they can and can't walk around a school bus, and how to get help if they need it?

New or Teen Driver
Before your child hits the road as a new driver, make sure they’ve completed a Drivers Education Course, equipping them with the knowledge and practical skills to avoid unnecessary risks and observe proper rules of the road. Many states offer online courses, making it easy and convenient to fit into your schedule.

If your son or daughter is headed off to college, you may be eligible for a Good Student discount or Student Away at School discount (if college is more than 100 miles from home).

For more tips about safe driving programs, driving, and cars, check the rest of our Auto Articles section. You can also get free online car insurance quotes from top insurance companies.

Do you have any questions or comments? Please let us know.

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