July 31, 2002

Parents need educating on back-to-school driving habits

Mayfield Village, Ohio – According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), students are at much greater risk travelling to and from school than at any other time in their school day.

“As more school buses and carpools take to the road this school year, drivers need to be increasingly alert, especially when driving in school zones and around school buses,” said Toby Alfred, site manager, of progressive.com, a U.S. insurance company web-site.

A recent survey of 460 people by progressive.com revealed:

  • 15 percent of respondents say they personally know of a child who has been injured or killed waiting for or getting on/off a school bus.
  • 35 percent of respondents with children said they have turned around to reprimand a child while carpooling or driving children to school.
  • 10 percent of respondents have accidentally driven past a school bus that was displaying flashing red lights; women (11 percent) were slightly more likely than men (eight percent) to do this.
  • 27 percent of respondents said they tried to pass a school bus as quickly as possible rather than drive behind it.
  • 72 percent of respondents said they have experienced a child crossing the road without looking for oncoming traffic.
  • 44 percent have experienced a child darting out into the street trying to reach their school bus before it departs.
  • One out of four respondents report that children in their neighbourhood do not wait for the school bus in a safe place (away from traffic, well-lit, sheltered, etc.).

The survey also indicated that people could be more “schooled” on the location of neighborhood bus stops. Only 65 percent of respondents knew the location of the bus stops in their neighborhood compared to 76 percent who knew the location of the nearest liquor store and 86 percent who knew the location of the nearest low-cost gas station.

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