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Ready or not, children will be going back to school in the next month. That means sharing the road safely with school buses and teen drivers, and keeping an eye out for children waiting at bus stops or crossing the street. According to Traffic Safety Facts, car crashes are the leading cause of death for children 3 to 14 years old. All Risk car insurance can safeguard you.

Distracted driving can be a large contributor to accidents near school zones and neighborhoods. Buses are constantly stopping and going and drivers must also be aware of pedestrians and bicyclists. One of the most dangerous distractions is texting while driving. Motorists are 23 times more likely to crash if texting while driving. Talking on a cell phone, even if it’s hands-free, can also be a distraction. According to the National Safety Council, using a cell phone while driving can delay your reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol level of .08, the legal limit for drunk driving.

With the addition of school buses on the road, it’s necessary to know the proper laws and procedures for sharing the road safely with them. Keep in mind the following reminders from the National Safety Council:

  • All states have a law making it illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
  • All states require that traffic in both directions stop on undivided roadways when students are entering or exiting a school bus.
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is where children are in the most danger of being hit. Stop your car far enough from the bus to allow children the necessary space to safely enter and exit the bus.
  • Be alert. Children walking to and from the bus are usually very comfortable with their surroundings. This makes them more likely to take risks, ignore hazards or fail to look both ways when crossing the street.
  • Never pass a school bus on the right. It’s illegal and dangerous.

During the school year, be sure to take extra caution for buses, pedestrians and bicycles near schools and residential neighborhoods. Stay off your cell phone while driving and follow the laws and proper procedures to drive safely around school buses.