AAA New England is reminding motorists to slow down and pay attention as children head back to class. Here are a few quick tips to help keep our kids safe!

  • 1

    Stop for the School Bus!

    It's time, once again, to start watching out for school buses!  Remember, you have to stop for a stopped bus, whether you're behind it or coming toward it.

    You must stop for a bus that has its signals going. If you see a bus that's stopped and you're not sure if you should stop...STOP! The driver will signal you if it's safe to drive by.

    Even as the bus drives away and you begin to follow, keep your eyes on the sides of the road. A child, late for the bus, may be running to catch up!

  • 2

    Slow Down!

    Obey school zone speed limits. They're reduced for a reason!

    Kids running to meet their friends are not thinking about you. So you need to be aware of them and be able to stop quickly.

    AAA offers this statistic: A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.

    Photo by RaeAllen, Flickr
  • 3

    Eliminate Distractions!

    Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. And children can be quick, crossing the road unexpectedly or dashing out from between two cars.

    Put away the cellphone. NO texting! Eat before you head out in the morning. Paying attention could save the life of a child!

    Photo by IntelFreePress,Flickr
  • 4

    Keep Your Own Children Safe!

    AAA's Pat Moody told me that the biggest threat to children is traveling to and from school , even in their own parents' vehicle. It's important to make sure your children are riding safely.

    Keep children who need to be in car seats or booster seats properly locked in. It's amazing what a difference it makes. Two young children were involved in a serious accident in Maine earlier this month. Their mother was injured when she was thrown from the truck. But the children were uninjured!

    Make sure all children, no matter what age, are wearing seatbelts. And remember that children under the age of 12 need to be in the backseat!

    Photo by sean dreilinger,Flickr
  • 5

    Teach Crosswalk Common Sense!

    Have you ever heard that poem "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?" It makes a lot of excellent points, like looking both ways before crossing the street. Teach your children to be safe when crossing the street!

    They should never assume that cars will stop just because they're in a crosswalk. AAA's Pat Moody put it best when he told me that the lines on a crosswalk aren't magic and won't automatically cause cars to stop.

    If your children are under 10, they should be accompanied when walking to school. Teach them to cross with the crossing guard or walk lights. And never, ever walk out into the road without looking both ways. When in doubt.....wait for the road to clear before crossing.

    Photo by tracktwentynine,Flickr