Gearing Up for Back to School Season
Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the elementary school carpool lane, every parent is invested in their child's safety. This back-to-school season, commit to that investment both in and out of the car with these five tips.
1. School Zone Safety
Illinois continues to improve school zone safety by implementing driving laws aimed at protecting schoolchildren. Here are few provisions to remember:
- Motorists may not drive faster than 20 mph when children are present in a school zone. This applies whether or not children are in your vehicle.
- School crossing guards have the same authority as police officers.
- No cellphone use is permitted while driving in a school zone.
2. Watch for Pedestrians
Whether your child's school is in a residential area or a wide-open space, drivers should be cautious when driving around these buildings. Being mindful of pedestrian traffic on any road leading to the school is one of the most effective ways to prevent accidents. As a general rule of thumb, motorists should try to move over or considerably decrease their speed if a pedestrian is on or near the roadway.
3. Keeping Teen Drivers Safe
Every parent wants to make sure that their young drivers get to and from school safely. Considering this, it is imperative that teens are taught the necessary road rules and defensive driving techniques that can help them become better drivers. Here are three you can share:
- Limit distractions like phones, food, and grooming when behind the wheel.
- Passengers should be mindful of how their actions impact the driver—be confident in telling passengers to quiet down or keep their hands/items in the backseat.
- Avoid getting behind the wheel when emotions are high. All drivers, no matter their age, should avoid driving when sad or angry.
4. School Bus Etiquette
Statute 625 ILCS 5/11-1414 mandates that a motorist stop their vehicle behind a stopped school bus, regardless if children are entering or exiting it, unless on a highway with more than four lanes. The driver must remain stopped until the bus's flashing lights are turned off or in motion. Drivers can face penalties (like a suspended license) for not abiding by this law.
5. The Right Way to Carpool
Carpooling can be a great, eco-friendly option for families or friends looking to have a simplified commute to school. However, there are right and wrong ways to manage the carpool lane. Here are the dos and don'ts:
- DO have passengers sit on the side of the vehicle closest to the door.
- DON'T slow down the carpool lane by having lengthy conversations with passengers or other parents.
- DO double-check for passing cars before children enter or exit the vehicle.
- DON'T stay in the carpool lane if a child forgets something—pull over or go to a parking lot and then take the item inside.
Having an efficient drop-off can help you stay mindful when other cars are around and help you avoid speeding to get to work on time.
Illinois Car Accident Attorneys
At Turner Law Group, we share your commitment to safe driving and child safety. That’s why we will always advocate for your rights to a safer roadway. If you or a loved one sustain an injury on Illinois roads this back to school season, call (800) 653-0198 to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.