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School's back in session: Drive safely!

Another summer vacation has come and gone. Once again it is time for school to begin. Soon enough our daily commute will be affected by school bus traffic, crossing guards, and children filling the sidewalks on their way to school. The students may have a lot on their minds this time of year – the anticipation of new classes, reuniting with old friends, and meeting new people. These "distractions" may cause them to overlook their personal safety at times. For example, they may forget to look both ways before crossing the street or stand in the blind spots of vehicles. It is our responsibility to help this school year get off to a good start by driving safely!

Tips to safer driving:

• SLOW DOWN: Many accidents can be avoided by traveling slower.  Slowing down allows you more time to react to changes (i.e. a child darts out into the road).  It also allows your vehicle to stop in a shorter distance, possibly avoiding that fender bender.

AVOID DISTRACTIONS: Put down your cell phone/tablet, refrain from changing the radio or using your navigation device. Devote your full attention to driving, and driving safely, especially in and around school zones, residential areas, and bus stops. Inattentive driving is not only dangerous for yourself, but dangerous for everyone around you as well.

ACT RESPECTFULLY:  Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege and must be done respectfully. There is no room for an aggressive driver on the road. Be courteous to those on or near the roadway.

DRIVE DEFENSIVELY:  Expect and be looking for the unexpected. Children may be hard to see when standing near parked vehicles, trees, and bushes and may step out into traffic without warning. Look ahead and scan the road edges for potential concerns (i.e. children walking/riding bike on a sidewalk or bike lane, crossing guard helping children cross traffic, children waiting at a bus stop). It is a good idea to slow down in congested areas and try to avoid school areas on your commute whenever possible.

PLAN AHEAD: Avoiding areas prone to "school traffic" all together is the best way to ensure your commute will be smooth and incident free. If you do not need to travel through a school zone, pick a new route for your commute during the school year. Avoiding these areas will not only help you avoid congestion, it will provide less traffic for the students and buses to manage.

School zone safety is everyone's responsibility, make safe driving this school year YOUR PRIORITY! 

  • Nate Healy

  • Nate Healy is an HSE Senior Manager at Michels. Nate has more than five years of experience in safety, including several years in the field at job sites from coast to coast.

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