School is back in session for most Central New York kids on Thursday, September 7, 2017. Whether you have kids or not, it's a good time to remember all those safe driving tips you learned in Driver's Ed.

Of course it's always important to watch out for pedestrians.

The afternoon hours are particularly dangerous – over the last decade, nearly one in four child pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. (AAA Exchange)

AAA started an awareness campaign in 1946 called "School's Open - Drive Carefully". The tips they presented have been updated over the years, and they are still important to keep in mind today. Here are some helpful reminders from AAA Exchange:

  • Slow down. Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.
  • Come to a complete stop. Research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.
  • Eliminate distractions. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. And children can be quick, crossing the road unexpectedly or emerging suddenly between two parked cars. Reduce risk by not using your cell phone or eating while driving, for example.
  • Reverse responsibly. Every vehicle has blind spots. Check for children on the sidewalk, in the driveway and around your vehicle before slowly backing up. Teach your children to never play in, under or around vehicles.
  • Watch for bicycles. Children on bikes are often inexperienced, unsteady and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and a bicyclist. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that he or she wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet on every ride. Find videos, expert advice and safety tips at ShareTheRoad.AAA.com.
  • Talk to your teen. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and nearly one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during the after-school hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Get evidence-based guidance and tips at TeenDriving.AAA.com.

You can learn more about our local AAA chapter by clicking here.


BONUS VIDEO