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Safe and Slow: Reducing the Risks of Back to School Season

Back to school season means more children are walking to and from school, riding the bus, and playing sports outdoors. Because more children are out and about, driving safely and aware is more important than ever.

A Safe Start

To have a safe and successful start of the new school year, follow these tips:

Lower Your Speed

Most school zones have lower speed limits than surrounding areas—usually 20 mph—but when the school day is just starting or ending, you may want to drive even slower. Exercise caution when kids are crossing the street, loading the bus, or getting picked up. Heed the speed limits; they are there for a reason. Children are unpredictable and can easily find their way into the road before you have time to stop. Also, expect steeper fines for speeding in a school zone.

Stay Aware When Near Schools

You might see crossing guards and school safety personnel in school zones. They help keep traffic moving and the kids safe. Many schools have crosswalks that are closely monitored during school hours. Expect to drive slowly and carefully whenever in a school zone.

Give Buses Room

Be extra careful near school buses. Again, children can be unpredictable, and you can face steep fines for illegally circumventing buses while they load and unload kids.

Take Your Time

Back to school season comes with higher risks but also more distractions and priorities. When coupled together, these two factors pose a deadly risk. It is illegal to use a hand-held device or text while driving in Illinois. Even activities like eating or drinking can be distracting enough to harm someone. Don’t risk it. Get up a little earlier, so you don’t feel the need to multitask behind the wheel.

The start of school can be a fun time of the year. But in the midst of all the excitement, make sure you practice safe driving and stay on guard. And if you’re involved in an accident, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. An Arlington Heights personal injury attorney can advise you of your rights and help you seek fair compensation step by step.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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