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Don’t fall behind: Study up on safe driving practices
Timothy Shay

Driving is something people do nearly every day. And after years of doing the same thing, people can fall into a sense of comfort and predictability when they are behind the wheel. However, every time someone gets into their car, they can be at risk of getting into or causing an accident.

Because of this, it is crucial to prioritize safe driving and brush up on your habits from time to time. With this being the time of year kids go back to school, now can also be an excellent time to re-familiarize yourself with safe driving practices.

Driving around kids and schools

It has been several months since children were getting on buses and walking to school. As such, you might have forgotten what you should do in school zones, around pedestrians or when you are sharing the road with a school bus.

When it comes to these scenarios, remember the following rules:

    • Slow down when approaching school zones.
    • Watch for children running into the street between parked vehicles near schools.
    • Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections.
    • Stop for a school bus with flashing red lights and an extended stop arm (except in certain situations, including when you are on a four-lane road and approaching the bus from the opposite direction).
    • Do not illegally pass a school bus.

Driving in bad weather

This is also the time of year when the weather becomes more unpredictable in Illinois. To stay safe and avoid weather-related crashes, drivers would be wise to remember to:

    • Slow down when it’s icy or rainy.
    • Keep your headlights on in wet, foggy or dark conditions.
    • Make sure both windshield wipers are working correctly to allow you to see.
    • Maintain your tires, mirrors and lights and replace anything broken or worn out.
    • Beware of fallen leaves and other debris that can conceal hazards or make roadways slick.
    • Watch for animals (like deer) crossing the road.

Safe driving habits year-round

These tips can help drivers refocus their attention to seasonal hazards and conditions. That said, drivers should always practice habits like wearing a seatbelt, avoiding distractions and complying with traffic laws, no matter what season it is. Failure to do so could lead to a catastrophic car accident and painful injuries.