September is upon us soon, and schools everywhere will be back in full swing before you know it. Along with busy ball fields and after school activities will come more kids running across the street and a plethora of yellow school buses on the highways. With this in mind, now is a perfect time for drivers everywhere to brush up on a couple of back to school driving tips:

Look Both Ways

When the school bell rings to indicate school is back in session, your neighborhood may be teeming with children on the sidewalks going to and from school or school bus stops. When you are leaving your driveway, be sure to watch out for children. It’s easy to lose this habit during the summer months. When you are out on the streets, double check crosswalks and obey all crossing guard signals. It is easy to miss the littlest of children as they rush to school – remember that they may have forgotten many of their road safety habits over the summer.

Slow Down

School speed limit zones will be in effect again, and children will be walking and getting on and off buses. You need to be aware of your surroundings, and the best way to do that is to drive a little slower, even when not in a school zone.

Be Prepared To Stop Quickly

Have your foot poised over the brake, ready to stop at a second’s notice. Many kids pay little attention to what is going on around them and the little buggers can dart out in front of your car faster than you can say “Where the heck did they come from?”. Be ready.

When you see a yellow light, don’t speed up.  Treat it as a red light and start slowing down for a stop. Kids won’t pay attention to what you are doing, running a red light. They have a tendency to just watch their pedestrian light and they are ready to jump out into the street the moment their light turns green.

Watch For Buses

If you don’t know the laws about school buses and rules about bus safety, now is the time to refresh yourself. This can keep you, the bus driver, and the kids all safe. Plus, you don’t want a ticket from doing something illegal in a school zone or around a bus.

Highlight the phrase “School Bus Laws,” search for it in Google and make sure you are up to date.

Look Out For Teen Drivers

Kids are on the street, in buses, and now they are driving to and from school. Be on the alert for new drivers as you make your morning commute. This one can keep you safe, even if the new drivers aren’t paying attention. If you see a driver that isn’t quite sure of his or herself behind the wheel, stay at least two car lengths away from them. This gives you plenty of time to stop should you need to, for your sake and theirs.

Put Away Those Distractions

In many places, it is now against the law to use an electronic device while driving. Even where it is not, putting away those phones is much safer for you and all of those around you. Before you get into your vehicle put your phone somewhere you can’t reach it from the driver’s seat. By placing it out of sight, you are preventing yourself from absentmindedly answering or texting while driving.

Phones aren’t the only distraction – eating, drinking, putting on makeup, organizing a playlist on the stereo – they all take your concentration away from the road. If you have to do something other than drive – pull over to the side of the road and do it.