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School’s Out, Drive With Caution

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Utica, NY (WIBX) – School is out, and AAA is urging you to use extra caution while driving.

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children of all ages, and one-fourth of all kids who die in these crashes are pedestrians.

“If in doubt about a possible approaching situation–slow down,” said Central Region General Manager Edward Welsh. “Be alert to children darting from between parked cars. Children have a hard time judging speed and distance, so they are at greater risk.”

Be more attentive on the road. Here are some tips from AAA for motorists and youngsters:

MOTORISTS:

· Wear sunglasses and keep your windshield clear to reduce sun glare.

· Drive with your headlights on – even during the day – so children and other drivers can see you.

· Watch for children, not only in playground areas, but at unexpected places and times.

· Don’t let distractions, such as noisy children or car phones, interfere with your driving concentration. Pull off the road to a safe location to make phone calls.

· Slower speeds and a cooler temperament are a must.

· Make eye contact with children who are about to cross the street. Be aware of their next step and make sure that they are aware of yours.

· Be especially careful when passing ice cream trucks. Excited children often run into the street.

· Don’t drive when drowsy. Sun, surf and summer fun will tire you out more than you realize.

· Of course, keep yourself and your passengers safe: Buckle up or use an age-appropriate child care seat or booster seat.

PARENTS, TEACH YOUR YOUNGSTERS TO:

· Never run or bicycle into the street without looking.

· Walk facing traffic and look left-right-left when crossing.

· Bicycle with the flow of traffic, and obey all traffic controls and vehicular rules of the road.

· Play away from traffic – use playgrounds and parks, not streets.

· Use reflectors on clothing and bicycles when out in twilight or darkness.

· Wear helmets when biking, skating or on a scooter.

“Remember, when school’s out, children are at play,” concluded Welsh. “When school’s out, drive carefully.”

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