In days past, school didn’t start in the Los Angeles area until after Labor Day.
But the school calendars have changed through the years, and Los Angeles County kids will be heading back to school over the next few weeks. As drivers, we must be prepared.
Remember you’re going to be sharing the road with buses, children riding their bikes or walking to school and even newly licensed drivers getting themselves to school on their own for the first time. Here are some reminders for navigating the back-to-school roads.
- Slow down. Obey all the speed limits in a school zone and be watchful of kids trying to beat the bell and parents trying to rush away from the curb after dropping off their little ones.
- If you’re the one driving the kids, make sure you know which area the school has set aside for drop-offs. According to the National Safe Routes to School program, more children are hit by a car near a school than anywhere else. Make sure you don’t double park because other cars won’t be able to see the kids. No matter how crowded the drop-off line is, don’t let the kids out of the car on the other side of the street and force them to cross.
- When pedestrians are present, follow these tips. Don’t block the crosswalk and force children to go around you. Other drivers might not be expecting them and might not see them. Always yield to children in the crosswalk or in the intersection, and always stop for a crossing guard. Take an extra look for kids when you’re in school zones, near play areas and in residential neighborhoods, especially immediately before and after school. And finally, never pass a vehicle or a bus stopped for pedestrians.
- When kids are riding their bikes to school, be extra careful. When turning left and a bicyclist is coming toward you, allow the rider to pass; do the same thing if you’re turning right and you see in your mirror a bike approaching from behind. Watch for bikes emerging from driveways or between cars.
The new school year brings anxiety for kids and parents, and it inevitably brings accidents, too. If you or your child has suffered an injury because a driver didn’t use caution, a California personal injury attorney can help you recover medical losses or other expenses you’ve incurred as a result.