Back to school driving tips can keep everyone safe

September 3, 2013 12:00 AM

Across the world, millions of students are getting back into the swing of the academic year. Whether they are heading to college classrooms for their final year of school or are walking to local bus stops to begin their elementary education, these students are adding to the already heavy traffic on the roads. Many motorists are used to dealing with the congestion, but it's always a good idea to brush up on a few tips for safer driving. 

"As the schools reopen, there will be increased pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic on the roads," said Bill Adams, vice president of the Insurance Bureau of Canada. "This is a good time for motorists to be extra cautious and take the time to review some road safety tips to help with the transition." 

Watch out for school zones
All drivers should be aware of the school zones they may be driving near. Not only is it important to slow down in these areas to keep all children safe, but traffic violations can draw larger fines in these zones as well, so following the rules and avoiding penalties is beneficial to everyone involved. 

Check for buses in peak hours 
Even when you are not driving in school zones, you need to be on the lookout for school buses. They could be stopping at any time, which requires motorists to also brake and watch out for children crossing the street. Anytime you see those flashing yellow lights, you should prepare to stop your car, regardless of the direction you are driving in. 

Leave yourself enough time
An influx of motorists on the roads can lead to heavy traffic and longer driving times needed to reach a destination. Leaving a bit earlier than you would normally ensures that you can get to a location in a punctual manner and won't have to rush to do so - eliminating stress and helping you to avoid speeding. Giving yourself plenty of time for driving also helps to prevent things like tailgating, running red lights or weaving through the traffic - all of which can lead to accidents or traffic tickets. 

Don't put off auto repair
If you have a minor problem plaguing your car, you shouldn't put off getting it repaired. Even the smallest of issues can potentially lead to a bigger headaches down the line, so it is essential to have proper vehicle maintenance done throughout the year. Whether you need major car repair or easier fixes like an automotive oil change and tire rotation, you should be sure to stay on top of it. 

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