CSP warns against distracted driving amid school reopenings
The Colorado State Patrol is warning drivers to avoid distracted driving as school is set to begin across the state in the next few weeks. A press release from CSP reports that distracted driving is one of the top factors in causes of bus crashes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely when taking a bus instead of traveling by car. That’s because school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road with standards above and beyond those for passenger vehicles.
The problem, CSP says, comes from distracted drivers who are driving around buses while they are stopped to pick up or drop off children from school. Over the last three years, CSP investigated 174 crashes involving school buses. Most of those accidents were caused by motorists other than the bus driver.
“Drivers have to share the road with all types of vehicles and pedestrians. If you’re driving behind a school bus, allow for a greater distance and take it slow,” Col. Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the CSP, said in the release. “Kids aren’t always predictable and stopping is more frequent for bus drivers. We all need to do our part to create a safe environment by exercising patience around school buses.”
The top three causes for bus-related accidents include inattentive driving, exceeding safe speed and failure to yield the right of way. The only time a driver can disregard a bus’s flashing lights is when the bus is on an opposite roadway that is separated by a median or other physical barrier.
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The top three counties in the state that make up the most of these accidents are Jefferson, Arapahoe and Larimer Counties.
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