Back to school means driving with extra caution |

Back to school means driving with extra caution

With children back in school, we implore drivers to be extra cautious in their travels. No matter if you’re running late or trying to multi-task while at the wheel, don’t forget how quickly your life would change if a child darted out in front of you and you weren’t ready to brake.

Fortunately, all it takes is paying attention. Many drivers who travel the same routes day after day forget to do that, instead putting their minds on auto-pilot. Remember, children are often difficult to spot. They can dart from between parked cars or suddenly appear behind your car when you’re backing up. They’re depending on you to be ready.

So do a mental checklist every time you get behind the wheel.

Know where the school zones are and do not speed through them. Stop for school bus lights (and that means coming to a full stop). Pay attention to and follow the directions of crossing guards.

And, of course, paying attention means you’ll have to put away the cell phone until you get to your destination. It means you’ll have to eat breakfast either before you leave or when you get to work.

The other thing you can do is teach your own children to be safe. Teach them to use crosswalks and obey signals and crossing guards. Tell them to walk their bikes across streets, and make sure they wear helmets.

Remember, a lot of children are counting on you to be a good driver. Don’t let them down.