School's back in session; GEICO reminds drivers to prepare

WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 25, 2015 – Summer's pretty much over and that means those yellow school buses will be back on the roads in force. As those buses take to the streets and the school zone flashers power up for another school season, GEICO has a few reminders to help keep everyone safe.

Be Careful around School Buses

We've all been there; rushing to get to work when we find ourselves behind a school bus. The safest move is to be patient and:

  • Maintain a safe following distance: Buses make frequent stops, and allowing extra space between you and the bus can make it easier to anticipate when the bus will stop.
  • Watch for flashing lights: When a bus turns on its yellow lights, this means it will stop soon. Drivers should prepare to do the same, and keep a watchful eye for kids darting into the street. A bus with red flashing lights is stopped, and cars around it must do the same.
  • Never pass a stopped school bus: If a bus stops, turns on its red flashing lights and extends its stop arm, laws in all 50 states forbid cars from passing. This helps school kids gain safe access to and from the bus.

Stay alert in school zones

  • Look out for flashers: When they turn on, the school zone becomes active, and drivers must obey the reduced posted speed limit. Additionally, cars should stop to allow pedestrians to cross and always yield to a crossing guard.
  • Don't stop in a crosswalk: A crosswalk provides the safest path to cross a street. When a vehicle blocks one, pedestrians could be forced into oncoming traffic, making it especially dangerous for younger children who are harder to see.

Most importantly, never drive distracted in a school zone or around a bus because both have a greater amount of unpredictability that require a driver's full attention.

Sources: NHTSA, National Safety Council

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 27 million vehicles.

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