FLORHAM PARK—As children get ready to go back to school, AAA is reminding drivers to slow down in school zones.
“School zone limits are in place to save lives,” said Cathleen Lewis, director of public affairs for the AAA New Jersey Automobile Club. “Motorists need to be especially vigilant during the morning and afternoon hours when school children are walking to and from school.”
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian stuck by a vehicle traveling at nearly 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed as compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.
AAA’s School’s Open—Drive Carefully campaign was launched in 1946 to help reduce the number of school-related pedestrian injuries and fatalities. In addition to slowing down, AAA offers the following tips for motorists to keep children safe as they navigate their way through school zones:
- Ditch distractions. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.
- Stay alert. Don’t rush into and out of driveways. Expect pedestrians on the sidewalk, especially around schools and in neighborhoods.
- Stop at stop signs. It sounds obvious, but research shows that more than one third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods.
- Watch for bikes. Children on bicycles are often unpredictable; expect the unexpected.
- Brake for buses. It may be tempting to drive around a stopped school bus, but not only is it dangerous, it’s against the law.
- Plan ahead. Leave early for your destination and build in extra time for congestion. If possible, modify your route to avoid school zones.
- Look for AAA School Safety Patrollers. With more than 600,000 AAA School Safety Patrollers at 31,000 schools across the country, they’re a sure sign you’re approaching a school zone.
The AAA New Jersey Automobile Club provides automotive, travel, insurance and financial services to the residents of Essex, Morris and Union Counties. Visit AAA online at AAA.com.
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