Labor Day is past us now, which means all the kids are back in school for the year, which means it’s time to brush up on your driving skills for school zones. Of course, you should practice safe driving techniques no matter where you are, but the high concentration of children, some of whom may not be aware of vehicle traffic so near where they walk. Furthermore, there may be much harsher penalties for infractions if you’re in a school zone. That being said, there are some things you should get in the habit of doing when you’re driving, especially when you’re near a school or in a school zone.

Practice Extra Caution

Drive slowly—most school zones have speed limits of 15 miles per hour. Past that, you should be very alert when approaching schools—children may be running across the streets without looking as closely as they should for cars. It’s also courteous to watch for traffic pulling out from school drop-off zones—parents dropping off their kids will want to get back into traffic, and while you don’t necessarily have to let them back in, it’s always nice to. Paying extra attention when this is going on also helps avoid accidents, as well—getting into a fender bender near a school is very easy if you aren’t paying close attention to what’s going on around you. If you do unfortunately get involved in a crash, contacting a car accident lawyer may be helpful.

Be Aware of School Buses

School bus laws should also be taken into account when you’re driving through school zones. Never pass a school bus on the right—not only is it illegal, but you could be causing grave danger if kids are attempting to get off of the bus. The area of ten feet surrounding a school bus is where children are in the most danger of being hit, so make sure you give them enough room to be safe. Finally, pay attention to the lights flashing—yellow means buses are preparing to slow and stop to unload or pick up kids, while red lights and an out-stretched stop sign are your signal to stop and yield to the kids boarding or departing the bus.