Slow down: it’s a simple message that’s repeated to drivers every year as school starts up at the beginning of September. Children are going to be crossing streets, buses will be stopping for pick-ups and drop offs, and a familiar chaos will resume around school zones. It’s an important message and one that bears repeating annually.
But children aren’t the only ones who are at risk when there’s a significant change in schedules; wildlife are, too. Here’s a few tips to help make everyone safer on the road as we head back to school:
- Simply slow down. The faster you’re going the harder it is to stop. Reflexes, weather and road conditions, experience and driver training all impact this, but ultimately, physics wins. Whether you’re in a residential zone or driving down a thoroughfare to work or the grocery store, your speed will impact your ability to safely brake.
- Expect critters to cross the road. Whether they’re children on their way to school or a raccoon on their way to a food source, we know that road crossing laws aren’t always followed. Keep your eyes up and stay alert.
- Go hands-free with your tech. You can buy phone holders at any large gas station, hardware store, or even some dollar stores. Most modern cars and devices are Bluetooth capable. There’s no reason to be handling your phone or device while driving – and if you must, you can pull over and stop.
- Talk to your community. Some areas may need extra reminders or enforcement, and talking within your community – to your neighbours, local parents, friends, business owners and others – can help identify the need for change, warning signs, or patrols.
We can all be safe as we head back to school and we all have a role to play. But drivers hold some of the most important responsibilities. Please be safe and enjoy September!