725 S Garfield Ave
Traverse City Mi 49686
Garfield Auto Service Center
725 S Garfield Ave
Traverse City Mi 49686
Ph. 231.929.3862
Fax 231.932.7511
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Driving Back To School Safely

September 14, 2020, 12:00 am

While it may have been a bit later than usual, kids are getting back to school. For drivers, that means school buses are back on the roads just as surely as kids are back at their desks. 

Keeping the road ways safe for everyone should always be a priority, but the school year only makes it more important to be aware. It’s almost a perfect storm; just as the mornings get darker, the roads get busier, and the weather less predictable, drivers need to make a conscious effort to be aware of kids walking to school or hopping on the school buses. 

Back to school traffic is substantial. Approximately one in four morning drivers during the school year driven by parents taking their kids to school. Traffic increases by one-fifth during the school year, and all of those parents on the road can increase commute times by a full fifteen minutes. It’s a safety hazard, too; car accidents during rush hour decrease by 43% during summer break. 

For drivers, it’s a time to really be aware of habits and routes. First, make an effort to take a second or third look as you back out of your garage. Students may not have bright or reflective clothing, and may not have the awareness to watch for cars off the street. Leave your driveway slowly and get those lights on right away. 

When driving close to or near school zones, slow down. Kids walking to class may run or not be paying attention, especially near crosswalks. Additionally, you can divert from your normal route by a block or two to reduce traffic at schools during arrival and dismissal. 

It’s also very important to be aware of bus stops that may be located on your route. At these stops, slow down and watch for kids playing near the road. Most experts recommend that children should be at least six feet away from the curb while waiting for the bus, and most bus stops should be safely lit by a street lamp. Assume there are kids who are late to the bus that may even dart out into traffic. 

When you pass a bus, make sure you’re aware of your state’s laws or other local ordinances. Never pass a stopped school bus while their lights are flashing or the “Stop” sign is extended. Yellow flashing lights on a bus means the driver is slowing down to prepare to pick-up students. Slow down and come to a stop at least three car lengths behind the bus. If you can see its side mirrors, the bus driver can see you! 

Keeping your car safe is also a great way to ensure a stress-free drive to work. From headlights to oil changes and more, regular maintenance and service can keep everyone on the road safe.


Posted by Garfield Auto at 12:00 am
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