CHARLOTTE – AAA is urging motorists to slow down and pay special attention in neighborhoods and school zones as students across the Carolinas begin the school year.
“Because of the pandemic, schools are reopening under different plans and phases,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson for AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “Drivers aren’t sure where exactly they’ll encounter students, so it’s important to be extra vigilant and treat neighborhoods as school zones, as many are doing virtual learning and could be outside during various times throughout the day.”
AAA has provided tips to abide by in these areas:
Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.
Come to a complete stop
Research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.
Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. Children can move quickly; crossing the road unexpectedly or emerging suddenly between two parked cars. Reduce the risk by not using your cell phone or eating while driving, for example.
Watch for school buses
Motorists are required to stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and STOP arms extended.
Watch for bicycles
Children on bicycles are often inexperienced, unsteady and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and a bicyclist. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require he or she wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet on every ride. Find videos, expert advice and safety tips at ShareTheRoad.AAA.com.
Talk to your teen
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and nearly one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occurs during the after-school hours of 3 and 7 p.m. Get evidence-based guidance and tips at TeenDriving.AAA.com.