Editorial: Back to school driving

As the school year begins in Shelton next week, drivers are being reminded to recall their ABCs of auto safety.

In its annual “School’s Open — Drive Carefully” campaign, AAA Southern New England reminds local motorists that careful driving begins even before they leave their driveways. More important, motorists should expect the unexpected as kids walk, bike, in-line skate or skateboard to school.

Why? For two reasons: First, it’s difficult for children to judge traffic situations because their peripheral vision is much narrower than that of an adult; and second, kids assume if they can see a car, the driver can see them, which isn’t necessarily the case.

AAA urges motorists to follow these safety tips to ensure a safe, successful school year:

•    Slow down near school and residential areas.

•    Drive with headlights on — even during the day — so children and other drivers can see you.

•    Look for clues that children are present: School-crossing signs, crossing guards, flashing school-zone lights, school buses, and playgrounds.

•    Scan between parked cars for signs that children could dart into the road.

•    Practice extra caution in bad weather.

•    Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students.