AAA begins yearly ‘back to school’ driving safety campaign

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As kids get ready for another year of school, AAA Northwest is getting ready for its 70th “School’s Open — Drive Carefully” safety campaign.

AAA is urging motorists be extra vigilant when driving through school zones and neighborhoods as kids are traveling to and from school.

According to a news release, over the last decade, nearly one-third of child pedestrian fatalities have occurred after school hours between 3 and 7 pm.

AAA is also offering drivers tips on how to keep kids safe on the street:

  • Slow down: The difference between 25 mph and 35 mph could save a life. AAA explains that “a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.” Slower speed limits in school zones are there a reason.
  • Eliminate distractions: Be aware at all times; children can often cross the road unexpectedly. Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing, according to AAA.
  • Reverse responsibly: Back up in your vehicle slowly, and check all around you for children before moving. Also, talk to your kids about never playing near cars, even when they are parked.
  • Talk to your teen: According to a news release, car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens across the country. AAA also stated that one-quarter of those fatal teen accidents occur between 3 and 7 pm. For more tips, visit TeenDriving.AAA.com.
  • Come to a complete stop: AAA said that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs. Come to a complete stop and check for children in sideways and crosswalks.
  • Watch for bikes: Slow down and give at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and the bike. If your child rides a bike to school, make sure that they are properly equipped with a bike helmet. For more advice, visit ShareTheRoad.AAA.com.

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