It’s important to share the road and drive safely all year long, but this time of year it’s even more critical to be aware of your surroundings in school zones and residential areas. As kids head back to school this month, we’d like to provide five reminders to help keep children and drivers safe.
You are distracted any time your mind and/or eyes are off the road. You cannot drive safely unless the task at hand has your full attention. Resisting the temptation to check your cell phone is crucial to your own safety, as well as that of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians nearby. Other potential distractions include eating, applying makeup, watching videos, adjusting the navigation system, or even finding the right station on the radio. As drivers, you should always be alert for those who are not—watch for children on roads or sidewalks or at bus stops who may not be paying attention to their surroundings. The consequences of checking that text and losing your focus could be devastating.
Ruan’s mobile device policy for professional drivers is in alignment with FMCSA regulations. To be compliant while operating a vehicle, a driver must be able to make a call or answer a cell phone with the single push of a button without holding the phone.
Be Aware of School Zones
No matter where you’re heading, school zone rules and speed limits must be followed. Drivers should always slow down to obey the speed limit, especially in unfamiliar areas. Keep an eye out for school zone signs, and if these signs have flashing lights, that means reduced speed limits are in effect. Always keep your eyes moving to watch for pedestrians and kids on bikes. Even if you’re not in a designated school zone but are in a residential area during a time when kids may be going to or coming from school, be prepared to slow down or even stop if needed.
Understand School Bus Signs
If a school bus in front of you is parked with its red flashing lights and stop sign extended, you are legally obligated to stop and wait while children are loading or unloading until the bus drives away. Yellow flashing lights on a school bus indicate that it is preparing to stop to load or unload children; you, too, should slow down to prepare to stop. Remember, school bus signals must be observed in both lanes of traffic.
Prepare to Encounter Student Drivers
As the volume of younger drivers on the road picks up, it’s important to drive with patience and understanding for those in front of you—especially new drivers! Pay extra attention in residential areas and around schools and drive defensively. Your alertness and experience could prevent an accident that may be caused by a young driver.
Use Highways and Interstates Instead of Residential Roads
Choosing to use major highways could save you time during the school year and help keep the roads safer and less congested.
Always be aware of your surroundings and stay alert! As a driver, you must be prepared for every possible circumstance that could happen at any given time. Follow these tips used by our professional drivers to help you return home safely each day to your family—and for those with whom you share the road to do the same.