Driving the kids back and forth to school can bring congestion. With all the school buses picking up passengers, kids on bikes peddling fast to get to school, and parents trying to drop off their kids before work it can be tough to deal with all the hustle and bustle of a busy school morning. Now more than ever, drivers need to slow down and pay attention when kids are present, especially before and after the school day. In preparation for those difficult driving conditions, we have created some tips to help you keep you and your kids safe.   

When Dropping Off 
Most schools have specific drop off procedures for the school year, so it's essential to make sure you know them for the safety of all the kids. Make sure that you don't double park as it blocks the visibility for other children and vehicles. You mustn't load or unload your children across the street from the school as it can be dangerous as well as cause traffic congestion. A good rule of thumb is to carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school.   

Share the Road with Young Pedestrians 
Young children walk a bunch of different ways when entering school, so it's essential to stay alert so that the children remain safe. It's important not to block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or when waiting to make a turn. Pedestrians to go around you and could put them in the path of traffic. When in a school zone with blinking flashers, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection. Make sure that you always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign. Also, make sure never to rev your engine even if you have the right of way and never pass a vehicle that has been stopped for pedestrians.   

Share the Road with Bikes 
Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles and can be hard to see on most roads. Children who are riding bikes present more of a problem for drivers as they are not able to accurately determine traffic conditions. When passing a bicycle, be sure to proceed in the same direction slowly and leave three feet between you and the bike. Turning left when a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction can be problematic so wait for the rider to pass before making your turn. If you're turning right, and the bicyclist is approaching you from behind in the same direction, let the rider go through the intersection first and make sure to use your turn signal. As always, be extra alert in school zones and residential neighborhoods and watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars.   

Before you drop the kiddos off at school, it's a good idea to make sure that your vehicle is fully prepared to handle any situation. Be sure to schedule an appointment at the dealership with one of our talented mechanics to get an oil change or get a tune-up. Have a happy and safe school year!

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