Driving down Johnson Ave in Bridgeport, on my way to work this morning, I could immediately tell that school was back in session. The line of traffic heading towards the school was a stark contrast to what anyone would have seen the morning before. Parents and children, along with school teachers and staff are making their way towards school, creating unavoidable long lines and traffic congestion. This then creates a safety hazard for all involved, including, innocent bystanders on their way to work each morning.
One of the more dangerous activities road congestion creates is aggressive driving. Angry and stressed drivers make poor and irrational decisions that endanger everyone around them. This is especially dangerous in a school zone or where children are prevalent in the area. I am guilty of getting angry at other driver’s myself; however, I have learned to make a conscious effort into staying calm in these types of situations.
Congested traffic also leads to lower visibility and increase blind spots. I am sure you have seen it time and again, a driver, attempting to be helpful waves a car into oncoming traffic. Unaware of the approaching vehicles, the "waved along driver" darts into the traffic which then causes brakes to squeal and even airbags to deploy. These situations are common and can be avoided. I am not suggesting that you should not be courteous to your fellow drivers, but you should be aware of your surroundings and of oncoming traffic before you wave your fellow driver on.
The easiest way to avoid accidents and most of the school zone congestion is to allow plenty of time in your morning routine to get to your destination. You might even determine an alternate route to avoid certain streets, although this is not always possible. School traffic isn’t going anywhere, literally and figuratively. It will be a consistent thorn in many drivers’ sides, well after their children have grown. Just being aware of the situation and remaining calm will assist you and the other drivers tremendously. Everyone has the same goal, to get themselves and their children to the final destination as safely as possible.
One more thing, if you are in that traffic and do finally arrive at the school, please be patient and courteous with the teachers and staff as they are dealing with a high stress situation as well and taking your aggression out on them will only lead to additional grief. (This coming from a teacher’s spouse.)
Now here are some (hopefully by now self-explanatory) school zone safety tips:
- Lookout for school zone signs and ALWAYS obey the speed limits.
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