School's in, slow down, stay alert


By Staff report

AAA urges motorists to slow down and stay alert; they will soon be sharing the road with millions of Florida students returning to school on Monday. Not doing so can have life-changing consequences.

According to the Transportation Research Board, about 100 children are killed each year walking to or from school and about 25,000 are injured. The afternoon hours are particularly dangerous. Over the last decade, nearly one in four child pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Drivers should prepare for an increase in:

Congestion—more drivers in the morning and afternoon

Pedestrians—students walking to and from school or the bus stop

Buses—picking up and dropping off students

Bicyclists—traveling to and from school

AAA–The Auto Club Group—through its School’s Open–Drive Carefully campaign—reminds motorists to:

Slow down. Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason.

Come to a complete stop. Research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods.

Eliminate distractions. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.

Watch for school buses. Every state has a law making it illegal to pass a school bus with its red lights flashing and stop-arm extended that is stopped to load or unload students.

Share the road. Children on bicycles are often inexperienced, unsteady and unpredictable.

Talk to your teen. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and nearly one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during the after-school hours of 3-7 p.m.,

Got gas?

Florida gas prices declined an average of six cents per gallon last week. Global oversupply concerns and rising tension in the U.S.-China trade war has kept oil prices low, and as a result downward pressure on prices at the pump. Florida drivers are paying an average price of $2.52 per gallon for regular unleaded. The state average is 6 cents per gallon less than a week ago, 16 cents less than last month, and 24 cents less than this time last year.

Gas prices have declined the past 18 consecutive days, for a total discount of 18 cents. The average Florida driver is now paying $38 for a full tank, $4 less than last April when prices hit their highest point of the year. The 2019-high was $2.80 per gallon on April 12.

Most expensive metro markets

Panama City ($2.68), Tallahassee ($2.67) and Naples ($2.61)

Least expensive metro markets

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater ($2.43), Punta Gorda ($2.44) and Melbourne-Titusville ($2.45)


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