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Five Back to School Driving Tips

The end of summer is rapidly approaching and although we didn`t quite get the barbeque weather this year, (maybe a few rare days) our lazy summer days will soon be a memory as the new school year starts. As the new academic year begins, so does Increase in traffic, especially in the mornings and afternoons during school and work commutes. Here`s a few tips to make every trip a safe one.

1. Plan Ahead More cars on the road can mean more traffic and that leads to longer commute times. Plan ahead for these situations to prevent careless driving behaviour, such as speeding, weaving and tailgating. This will help you get to your destination safely and ontime. Plot your route, stop for meals and apply makeup before you leave to reduce behind the wheel distractions.

2. Caution around Schools and Neighbourhood Estates Many children will begin walking cycling to school daily and may not always be aware of their surroundings. To counter the increase in pedestrian and bicycle traffic, drivers should always follow the posted speed limit especially within school areas which is 30km/h. These slower speeds allow drivers additional time to react and stop suddenly if necessary to avoid a crash or injuring a pedestrian. Pedestrian crossings and footpaths near schools demand the most attention. Did you know injury`s often occur by cars dropping off other kids?

3. Always wear a seatbelt Seat belts are your best protection in accidents and it is especially important that any child in your vehicle be protected by the safety restraint appropriate to their size and weight. By law, you may not carry a child under 17 in a car or goods vehicle (other than a taxi) without an appropriate restraint system. Although many people speak about safety restraints in terms of age, the most important factor in determining the correct restraint is weight. The recommended safety restraints for your vehicle`s occupants can be found on the Road Safety Authority website.

4. Avoid distractions Crawling through heavy traffic may seem like an ideal time to answer an urgent email or text, but distractions always increase the chances of a crash. Heavy traffic moves at an irregular pace, often stopping and starting suddenly and can catch drivers off guard if they are not paying attention.

5. Safe drop offs and collections Set down and collect your children on the school side of the road whenever possible. Never park opposite and call your child. Children are most vulnerable when crossing the road between parked cars. Not only will the child be unable to see approaching cars but the drivers will not see the child.

As you ease back into a faster paced work and school commute routines, we encourage you to take precautions while driving and make sure you`re aware of your surroundings. For more information and useful tips please like our Facebook page or read our blog on our website.