AAA’s School’s Open, Drive Carefully campaign aims to reduce the number of school-related pedestrian injuries and fatalities. With more distractions than ever, AAA reminds motorists to watch out for students as they travel to and from school.
• A hit-and-run crash occurs every minute on U.S. roads, according to recent research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Most victims of fatal hit-and-run crashes are pedestrians or bicyclists.
• The data indicates that a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at a reduced school zone speed of 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.
• While supplies last, metro-Oklahoma City AAA retail stores have 2018 School’s Open, Drive Carefully yards signs available for the public to pick up and display in neighborhoods and around schools to remind drivers of the need to be mindful of traffic transitions.
• School zone speed limits are in place to save lives. Motorists need to be especially vigilant during the morning and afternoon hours when schoolchildren are walking to and from school.
AAA urges motorists to follow this guidance to keep students safe:
• Slow down. Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.
• Come to a complete stop. Research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.
• Eliminate distractions. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chance of crashing. In addition, children can be quick, crossing the road unexpectedly or emerging suddenly between two parked cars. Reduce risk by not using your cell phone or eating while driving, for example.
• Reverse responsibility. Every vehicle has blind spots. Check for children on the sidewalk, in the driveway and around your vehicle before slowly backing up. Teach your children to never play in, under or around vehicles.
• Watch for bicycles. Children on bikes are often inexperienced, unsteady and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and a bicyclist. If your child rides a bicycle to school, require that he or she wear a properly fitted helmet on every ride. Find videos, expert advice and safety tips at ShareTheRoad.AAA.com.
• Talk to your teen. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in country, and nearly one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during the after-school hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Get evidence-based guidance and tips at TeenDriving.AAA.com.
Metro-Tulsa AAA Stores:
• 10051 S. Yale Ave., Tulsa
• 5920 S. Lewis Ave., Tulsa
• 8013 S. Sheridan, Tulsa
• 2121 E. 15th St., Tulsa
• 3746 S. Elm Pl., Broken Arrow
*Store hours vary. Visit aaa.com to confirm.
• School’s Open, Drive Carefully: https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/child-safety/schools-open-drive-carefully/#.W1CwIiErJQI
• Pedestrian Safety: https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/pedestrian-safety/#.W1CxSyErJQI \
• Teen Driver Safety: http://teendriving.aaa.com/OH/getting-ready/