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Back to school: Tips to avoid an accident with school-bound kids

It seems as if summer just started. It's hard to believe that the beginning of the new school year is just around the corner in Manhattan Beach and Los Angeles County school districts.

And just as kids spend the first few days of school refreshing their knowledge of already learned material, it's wise for drivers to do the same. Driving while school is in session requires extra caution.

Follow these tips to keep everyone safe:

If you're dropping off your children, obey the school's rules. The school likely has a specific drop-off zone designed to keep the kids out of harm's way. Don't let the children get out of the car across the street from the school. Harried morning drivers, unaccustomed to seeing kids outside of the loading and unloading zone, just might not see them.

Some kids walk to school. Avoid an accident with walkers by:

  • Staying out of crosswalks when you're waiting to make a turn or are stopped at a red light. If you don't, kids may still attempt to cross, which could put them in danger.
  • When driving in school zones, yielding to pedestrians.
  • Stopping for crossing guards or school police officers.
  • Being sure to look for children not only near schools, but by parks and playgrounds and all residential neighborhoods.
  • Never passing a car stopped for pedestrians.

Older children may ride their bikes to school, and bicycles are harder to see on the road. That's why drivers need to be especially cautious. Remember to:

  • Leave several feet between your car and the bicyclist as you're passing the bike, and drive slowly.
  • In residential neighborhoods, be alert for kids on bikes darting out of driveways or between parked cars.
  • Wait for the rider to pass when you're turning left.
  • Check your mirrors to make sure there is no rider approaching on your right when you're turning right at an intersection. If there is, let the bicyclist pass before you turn.

With a bit of caution, kids and drivers alike can share the road without worrying about accidents and injuries.

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