It's hard to believe, but school kids are already headed back to class, and that means drivers need to remember a few basic rules to keep them safe!

Summer has flown by this year, with beautiful weather, and plenty of fun activities to keep us all smiling. But September is right around the corner, and schools are going back into session. Kids are excited to be headed back, and that can spell trouble around school zones because they're looking for their friends, not for cars. So AAA has shared some tips for drivers to help make it a safe and successful start to the school year.

  • 1

    Slow Down!

    There's a good reason why speed limits are reduced in school zones. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed than if they were hit by a car going only 10 miles per hour faster. A difference between 25 and 35 miles per hour could save a life. So slow down, even when school is in session or after classes have been dismissed, because there could still be kids in the area.

  • 2

    Get Rid Of Distractions

    Taking your eyes off the road for any reason could be disastrous with children who might dart out from between parked cars, or suddenly change direction because they spotted a friend. Put down the cell phone, leave the coffee alone, and pay attention in any area where school children are likely to populate. This includes around libraries, ball fields, or in family neighborhoods.

  • 3

    Careful When Stopping Or Backing Up

    Kids move fast, so make sure you're paying attention when backing out of parking spaces or driveways. Check around blind spots and take your time so, if there is a child in the way, they can alert you or jump to safety. And always come to a complete stop at intersections with stop signs and check for kids in the area before proceeding.

    Phil Walter, Getty Images
  • 4

    Watch For Bicycles

    Anyone who rode a bike as a kid knows that it's a sign of freedom in your childhood. It's like flying! And that's exactly why motorists need to be watching out for children on bicycles. They're wrapped up in their own existence, enjoying the ride and looking forward to seeing their friends. What they're not doing is looking for traffic. So it's up to the drivers to be on the lookout for them!

    YanLev, ThinkStock
  • 5

    Stop For The School Bus

    Last, but definitely not least, is remembering to stop for the school bus. When the red lights are on, that means you can't pass. Period. When the yellow lights go on, get ready to stop. Don't drive too close to a bus. If you're in doubt about whether you can go by, look at the bus driver. They are very good at communicating whether you have permission to pass. And if you pass them illegally, they will take down your plate number and notify police.

    Photo by, David McNew, Getty Images