As millions of students prepare to return to school, Texas drivers can expect the rules of the road to shift. As school zones become active and traffic flows change, drivers must stay alert and follow the law when behind the wheel. With the help of information from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), here are Daic Law’s Back to School Safety Tips for Texas Drivers.
Back to School Safety Tips for Texas Drivers
According to the TxDOT, the most common causes of auto accidents during “back to school” are typically driver inattention, failure to yield right of way at stop signs or crosswalks, and failure to adjust speed accordingly. With this school year just getting underway, here are some helpful driving tips to keep your family, and other families on the roadway, safe:
- Do Not Use Cell Phones: Not only is using your cell phone while driving unsafe, it is also banned in active school zones across Texas. Violating this rule can cost drivers up to $200 in fines. Further, cell phone use is one of the most common factors contributing to distracted driving and related accidents.
- Obey Speed Limits: School zones almost always have reduced speed limits during operational hours or peak drop-off/pick-up hours. Obeying speed limits in school zones is one of the best ways to protect your family, and the many children navigating the roadway during this time. Failure to obey speed limits in school zones can result in doubled fines.
- Be Aware of Bus Stops: Whether on the highway, in a neighborhood, or in Downtown Houston, drivers should be aware of bus stops. At drop-off and pick-up times, bus stops are often crowded with children and parents. Be aware of pedestrians, slow down, and make sure you follow the law when busses are loading or unloading students.
- Watch for Children: Especially in neighborhoods or near school zones, be extra alert for children crossing the road or walking nearby. Children may not recognize or see the dangers of crossing the road or walking between cars, so as a driver, you must be alert and watch for children.
- Use Designated Areas: When picking up or dropping off children from school, or when driving through a school zone, make sure you pay attention to designated areas. Many school zones have designated lanes for busses and car rider lines. There may also be designated areas for parking, or blocked off parking lots.
- Watch for Crossing Guards: If you are driving through a school zone and notice a police officer, crossing guard, or both, make sure you slow down and follow their instructions. Do not argue or try to yell through your window if you are forced to divert or follow a particular flow of traffic.
Drive Smart During Back to School
Every year, hundreds of auto accidents occur in school zones. Many of these accidents cause serious injuries or deaths. Drive smart during back to school to keep your family safe and teach your children how to be responsible on the roadway.