With school back in session, the added traffic and pedestrians on the road present a great risk to company drivers traveling through school zones. This paired with the yearly increase in risky driving behavior is a recipe for disaster.

School zones are known to be one of the most high-risk areas for drivers. From parents hurrying to drop their kids off before work to students cutting through traffic or walking with their heads down to text on their phones – the combinations of dangerous situations are endless.

Below, we discuss the alarming statistics surrounding school zones, as well as steps companies can take to ensure their fleet drivers are mindful of these dangers while behind the wheel.


Alarming School Zone Statistics

After analyzing three years of Colorado State Patrol crash data in school safety zones, it was determined that crashes occurred three times as frequently during pick-up and drop-off hours compared to all other hours from the past three school years. Pick-up hours were the most dangerous, with the peak period of the week being Friday between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

A separate study observing 39,000 middle and high school students and 56,000 drivers in school zones found that:

  • 1 in 4 high school students and 1 in 6 middle school students walked while distracted
  • 80% of students displayed unsafe street crossing behavior
  • Unsafe drop-off or pick-up behavior was observed in nearly 1 in 3 drivers

Despite a historic 20-year downward trend, in the past two years, there has been a 13% increase in the pedestrian death rate for 12 to 19-year-olds – presenting a renewed challenge for protecting kids on the move.

Preventing School Zone Crashes

Fleet safety managers must remain proactive in ensuring that company drivers are cautious and vigilant in school safety zones. They can do this by providing school zone driver training and continuous safety reminders.

Online Driver Training

To prepare fleets for the increase in traffic congestion, your drivers need to be trained on how to operate safely in school zones. Drivers must be able to properly handle and adjust to:

  • Warning signs and lights
  • Increased pedestrian traffic
  • Speed restrictions
  • School buses and their passengers

Driver training is not something that should be offered only during onboarding or after a violation occurs. Companies that offer frequent training can help drivers refresh and improve their skills. This also allows you to catch drivers before they are disqualified – helping you retain talent and protect the communities that your company serves.

When it comes to proactively training drivers, the evidence of its effectiveness is clear. Those who incorporate frequent, ongoing training and assign courses monthly have far fewer violations – 25% less than the industry average and 50% less than fleets who train twice a year.

>> Check Out Our Driving Training Courses for School Zones <<

Safety Messages & Visual Reminders

The best way to prevent incidents is by reinforcing safe habits. Documented driver safety training forms the foundation, but a wise safety manager will reinforce training with:

  • Safety messages: delivered via email, text and verbally during driver briefings.
  • Visual reminders: such as displaying decals on doors or safety posters in breakrooms.

Promoting good driving habits in school zones is the best way to prevent incidents and injuries throughout the school year. That’s why we created a free “School Safety Driver Dangers” poster. Print it out and hang it in your breakroom, or download the image and share it with your drivers and other team members as a safety reminder.

To help reinforce safe driving habits in school zones, download our free School Zone Safety poster. It features the top five tips to keep your drivers, pedestrians and the community safe.

school zone safety tips