Many children of Highway Transport are headed back to school. Have a back-to-school image you’d like to share? Post it on any of the following Highway Transport social media with the hashtag:
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Students aren’t the only ones who have to make adjustments when school reopens in the fall. Drivers need to make some major changes as well. When school is in session, the driving environment presents a variety of serious hazards:
- Children behaving unpredictably
- Changes in speed limits
- New areas of traffic congestion which probably were not present over the summer.
When kids go back to school, drivers must be more mindful of stricter driving rules. Whether you drive a tractor-trailer or a passenger car, it is important to take special precautions as you travel in and around school zones.
Warning signs are usually posted several hundred feet before you enter a school zone. These signs are there to alert you to the upcoming hazard and to indicate a change in the posted speed limit. Reduce your speed as soon as you see the warning, and use extreme caution as you pass through the school zone. Be aware of the school zones that you travel through regularly, and change your driving habits as needed. Anyone who drives for one of the Highway Transport companies should consider alternate routes if school zones create unacceptable conditions.
As you near a school zone, watch for warning signs indicating a school crossing, where children will be walking across the roadway. The pavement may or may not be marked with crosswalks, and there may or may not be a crossing guard to help control traffic in the area. Check the areas on both sides of the crossing zone to make sure no children are approaching, keep your speed low, and use extreme caution as you pass through the area.
School Bus Stops
School bus stop areas may be located anywhere on your route, and they typically are not marked with warning signs. Be on the lookout for children gathering along the sides of the roadways in anticipation of arriving school buses. If you see them, slow down and proceed with caution.
Following School Buses
It’s a fact of life, school buses make frequent stops. If you’re behind a school bus, maintain a safe following distance. Never pass a stopped school bus. At each stop, children will be getting on or off the bus. They may need to cross in front of the bus, or they may dart out into the roadway unexpectedly. Be aware that school buses are similar to tanker trucks. School buses and tankers are required to come to a complete stop before crossing railroad tracks. Following a school bus can be slow and frustrating, and there may not always be a safe, designated passing zone. If you travel along a school bus route regularly, allow extra time or consider using alternate routes during the school year.
School zones may present traffic congestion in the early morning and mid-afternoon. Be prepared for delays as you travel in or around these areas.
No one wants to be involved in an accident, especially an accident involving a school bus, a tanker or a young pedestrian. As autumn approaches and the school zones become active again, it’s time to adapt your driving habits to reduce the hazards they present. Expect the unexpected; with children’s safety at stake, this is one lesson you definitely won’t want to learn the hard way.
Don’t Forget College “Kids”
Many chemical facilities around U.S. are not only in industrial parks but also near the major population centers filled with schools. For example, chemicals are routinely transported through the heart of Knoxville, TN at a chemical facility adjacent to the University of Tennessee campus. When driving near any college campus, our drivers are trained to detect and anticipate student pedestrians in their surroundings. College students can be especially at risk because of numerous factors such as:
- high crosswalk density
- incomplete sidewalks
- increased bicycle traffic
Unlike small children in a controlled setting, college pedestrians (and college-age drivers) are often distracted with uncontrolled personal behaviors such as:
- mobile phone
- wearing headphones or “earbuds”
- chatting with friends
Are you a safety-minded CDL Driver?
Highway Transport’s truck driving fleet operates with safety in mind at all times. If you’re interested in driving for a company that puts families and safety at the forefront, consider driving for Highway Transport. Visit Drive4Highway.com to view a comprehensive list of all locations.