Atlanta school traffic: Tips to keep your kids safe

BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, school is back in session today in some local districts, with the rest opening over the next week. That means traffic will pick up around local schools (though not necessarily on metro Atlanta highways).

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As you prepare to brave the traffic and prepare your kids to deal with it, AAA offers tips to keep kids safe this school year:

*Slow down.  Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. 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.  A difference between 25 mph and 35 mph can save a life.

*Eliminate distractions. Children often cross the road unexpectedly and may emerge suddenly between two parked cars. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.

*Reverse responsibly.  Every vehicle has blind spots. Check for children on the sidewalk, driveway and around your vehicle before slowly backing up. Teach your children to never play in, under or around vehicles—even those that are parked.

*Talk to your teen. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and more than one-quarter of fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during the after-school hours of 3 to 7 p.m.

*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.

*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 the bicycle.  If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that they wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet on every ride.

You can read more about Atlanta’s back-to-school traffic here.

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