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Wood Dale Police Remind Motorists to Drive Carefully When Kids Are Back To School

Post Date:08/16/2018 6:05 PM

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With school resuming next week, the Wood Dale Police Department has partnered with AAA to remind motorists to drive carefully when out on the roads.

Every fall over 55 million children across the United States head back to school. With 13 percent of those children walking or biking to class, it’s especially important for drivers to be vigilant of pedestrians before and after school. The afternoon hours are particularly dangerous; over the last decade nearly one in four child pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3-7 p.m. The Wood Dale community sees a great deal of child pedestrians in the afternoon hours, especially with children walking home from school or to the Wood Dale Public Library.

Launched in 1946, AAA’s School’s Open – Drive Carefully awareness campaign was created as a way to help reduce child pedestrian fatalities and injuries.

  • Slow down. Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.

  • 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.

  • Eliminate distractions. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing. And children can be quick, crossing the road unexpectedly or emerging suddenly between two parked cars. Reduce risk by not using your cell phone or eating while driving, for example.

  • Reverse responsibly. Every vehicle has blind spots. Check for children on the sidewalk, in the driveway and around your vehicle before slowly backing up. Teach your children to never play in, under or around vehicles.

  • 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 a bicyclist. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that he or she wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet on every ride. Find videos, expert advice and safety tips at ShareTheRoad.AAA.com.

  • Talk to your teen. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and nearly one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during the after-school hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Get evidence-based guidance and tips at TeenDriving.AAA.com

For questions about Wood Dale's Back To School Safe Driving campaign, please contact Sgt. Mike Peters at the Wood Dale Police Department.