Summer vacation has come to an end for students in Knoxville. Now that it is time for them to go back to school, you may notice that the roads are more congested than usual. More traffic means you will need to get used to new driving habits and patterns. It also means there is a higher risk of car accidents. According to, school season car accidents are more likely to occur in school zones, especially during the afternoon. Contributing factors include distracted pedestrians and drivers, motorists disregarding school zone signs and school buses. 

Even if you do not have any kids to drop off and pick up from school, take heed of the following safety tips to keep yourself and others safe when you are out on the roads. 

Pay attention to school buses 

Passing school buses that are picking and unloading children is illegal. Kids do not always pay attention when they are getting on and off buses and may dart across the streets. Most school buses have stop signs that they use to inform motorists when they are picking up and dropping off students. Do not follow these vehicles too closely because some kids may run behind them. School buses also make sudden stops. You should also allow sufficient traveling distance so bus operators can safely maneuver their vehicles. 

Drive the right speed in school zones 

Many school zones have posted speed limits that are lower than the normal flow of traffic in nearby areas. You should keep an eye out for those signs so you can adjust your speed accordingly. Since traffic is slower in school zones, you should adjust your commute. Leave out early, so you do not feel the need to rush, speed and perform other reckless actions that put you and others in danger. 

In addition to pedestrians, there are also many newly licensed teenagers on the roads who may not understand school zone driving rules and make driving errors that put you and everyone else at risk. Stay focused on the roads and drive defensively to reduce the number of back to school season accidents that occur.