School Zone Safety

Date: August 3, 2021

Nancy Rigby, BITCO Home Office Technical Specialist, Risk Control

Driving Tips for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers

According to NHTSA, from 2007 to 2016, 98 school-age pedestrians died in school-transportation-related crashes. Thirty-eight percent of those accidents involved other vehicles such as passenger cars, light trucks and vans, large trucks, etc. With school almost back in session, it's a good time for CMV drivers to refresh their memory on some basic rules of the road while traveling near school zones and buses.

Slow Down

Be on the lookout for school zones. They often have much lower speed limits, especially during before and after school hours. Keep in mind that CMV's also need more time to stop.

Defensive Driving

Defensive driving techniques are essential for preventing crashes, including those that are school bus-related. Use these tips to prevent crashes.

  • Continually scan the road. Don't focus on one object.
  • Watch out for children who may be distracted and not thinking about safety.
  • Pay special attention to younger students, as they are at the most significant risk. They are smaller and harder to see. They are inexperienced and impulsive.
  • Be aware of children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Be extra cautious when there are no sidewalks in the area. Watch for children walking on the road.
  • Be alert. Children arriving late may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • Learn and obey area school bus laws.
  • Children don't understand the danger of moving vehicles and can't judge vehicle speed or distance well.
  • Because of its size, a bus may interfere with other drivers seeing the children.
  • Children expect drivers to stop for them at a school bus stop and crosswalks.

Get Familiar with School Bus-Related Laws and Regulations

CMV drivers should learn and follow school bus laws for motorists in their state. These laws exist to protect children getting on and off the bus and protect motorists from tragedy. A few standard rules include:

  • Never pass on the right side of the bus, where children may be boarding or exiting.
  • Vehicles traveling in the same direction as the bus are required to stop when the bus stops. In some states, drivers moving in the opposite direction on a divided roadway must also stop.
  • As well as being dangerous, not obeying the flashing lights can lead to a citation and fine.

To learn more driving safety tips for your CMV drivers, contact your BITCO Risk Control Consultant. To locate an agent near you, click the "Find an Agent" button below.

Find an Agent

For information purposes only. BITCO's blog content does not address all potential circumstances and is not a substitute for business, safety, or legal consultation.

Let's Talk

Looking for a long-term partner that works hard for you and your business? Contact a local BITCO agent today.