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New survey reveals dangerous driving trends in school zones

As the school year starts, there is new troubling research from CAA that shows parents are reporting an increase in unsafe driving practices in school zones. The top two dangerous behaviours many motorists are performing are speeding and aggressive driving.

Often the behaviour of parents themselves isn’t helping. They’re not using the designated drop off and pick up location, parking illegally, driving distracted and speeding. School zones usually have reduced speed limits for good reason, even if they may seem excessively low to you. In an accident, if a driver hits a pedestrian at 30 kilometres per hour, the person will be injured, but the chances of severe injury or death are greatly reduced. Even going up to 40 kilometres an hour increases this risk.

Fortunately, concerned parents have lots of simple actions they can take to make the road safer for their kids and other students. The first step is practicing good driving behaviours, like giving themselves more time for drop off and pick up and following the school zone rules. All drivers should avoid distracted driving and follow posted speed limits. Don’t forget to listen to student safety patrollers – they are easy to spot. CAA School Safety Patrol has nearly 70,000 patrollers across different regions of the country every school day.

Kids can play a part in school safety too. If you’re driving your little ones to school, ask them to have everything ready to go the night before and help you get out the door with plenty of time. You can also try parking a few blocks away. A short walk to school with your kids can help you avoid the hustle and bustle of the parking lot, lowering your stress, while getting in some extra exercise.

If your children are getting picked up by a school bus, remind them to wait in a safe spot well away from the road and not to distract the bus driver. If they’re walking, biking or wheeling, make sure they have plenty of time and the appropriate safety gear.

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