When summer vacation ends and kids head back to school, there will be more young bicyclists and pedestrians on the streets. To help prevent accidents, Washington State’s drivers may need to exercise a much greater degree of awareness and caution.
According to the AAA Exchange, about 25% of the fatal accidents involving schoolchildren occur between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The end of Daylight Saving Time means that nighttime arrives sooner. Diminished visibility and the change in routine associated with a new school schedule can increase the accident risk.
Sharing the road with school buses
The Evergreen State requires all motorists to stop for a school bus on a two-lane road, even when traveling in the opposite direction. Drivers may not proceed until the stop-arm on the bus has retracted and its red lights have stopped flashing.
As noted by King 5 News, a motorist must stop for a school bus traveling in the same direction when on a highway with three or more lanes. A driver must also stop when traveling in the same direction in a turning lane.
Driving safely near young pedestrians
Motorists must slow down and remain ready to stop when approaching a school zone. A driver who cannot react quickly enough if a young pedestrian darts out into the street could cause a tragic accident.
By paying attention to traffic signs, school buses and flashing alerts, a driver can remain more aware of the presence of school children. An awareness of the blind spots on the road ahead and in between parked cars could also help prevent accidents involving children and young adults.