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School's back: Stay safe by slowing down

With many schools back in session, it's a good time to talk about slowing down on the roads. When school is in session, the roads get congested, and that can be frustrating to drivers on their way to work or other activities. It's important to slow down, though, especially in school zones. Doing so saves lives and prevents accidents.

There are ways to help prevent crashes, even if you're a parent heading to the school and are familiar with the school's pick-up/drop-off protocols. For instance, avoid double parking, even if the area is congested. When you double park, it lowers visibility and makes it more likely that a child could be hit.

If you can, attempt to carpool. With more families carpooling, there will be less congestion on the roads and a lower risk of getting into an accident. Additionally, if you're loading up or unloading children for the day, don't park across the busy streets. Instead, pull up to the school.

Bus-related accidents are a risk to younger pedestrians, just as car crashes are. Those between 4 and 7 are more likely to be involved in a collision, and because of their small size, more likely to be seriously injured. Regardless of whether you're in a car or bus, remember not to block crosswalks, to look for smaller children in school zones and to stay quiet; honking or revving an engine could startle a child into running into the road.

School-zone safety is the key to a safe year of education. If your child is injured, you can pursue compensation from the negligent party.

Source: National Safety Council, "Slow Down: Back to School Means Sharing the Road," accessed Aug. 23, 2017

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