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Back To School

Hard to believe that the summer is about to wrap up.  Most everyone in Delaware is back to school now and looking forward to a successful year.  It’s great to get back into a routine, but many students have a difficult time re-adjusting. But there are ways as a parent to help them get back into the groove.  Below is a link to a great article that may be helpful “17 Ways to Ease Back-to School” from

Another great article on the ABC’s of Back to School.

With summer vacations wrapping up and traffic increasing as people go back to work and back to school, September means different driving patterns and rules of the road.

According to a report by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHSTA), autumn is the most dangerous time of year for pedestrians, with 29 percent of pedestrian-related fatalities. We’ve included some tips below to help keep you, and your kids, safer as they head back to school. Whether you are a new or long-term driver, use these tips to set the example for others on the road.

  1. Respect the big yellow bus. Imagine being in a large car with 40 noisy 6th-graders. Could be pretty stressful. Do your part and make the bus drivers’ lives easier. Yield when they are attempting to merge, and maintain a significant distance behind them, as they often make unexpected stops. Make sure children know to walk in front of – never in back of – buses. Read up on other simple safety rules for kids to follow when riding the bus, too.
  2. Get in the zone. Speed limits in Ohio school zones typically are 20 mph. Abide by the limits and look out for pedestrians, keeping your foot on the brake. (It goes without saying that school zones are home to newly licensed teenagers who are largely inexperienced). Speed limits aren’t just for during school hours either – consider after-school marching band practice, late night football games, and other events. When dropping kids off, remember that curbs are reserved for buses and emergency vehicles, so you shouldn’t loiter. If you need a few extra minutes during the drop-off, turn on your hazard lights.
  3. Walk better. Drivers aren’t the only ones who need to obey the rules of the road. A major driving pet peeve is pedestrians who jaywalk, cross at a red light, or text while walking. More than an annoyance, this is a danger, especially in school zones. Did you know that many pedestrian crashes are attributed to kids darting out into the road. Remember to be a good pedestrian — cross at corners/marked crosswalks and in clear view, never between parked cars. Remind your kids to do the same (a full list of walking safety tips for students here).
  4. A different kind of pool safety In its “Six Driving Tips for Back-to-School Carpoolers,” Jiffy Lube underlines the importance of seat belts. If you’re part of a carpool it’s up to you to remind your children/passengers that seat belts are a must – no matter who they are driving with. Not only are seatbelts the law, they save thousands of lives a year.
  5. Go back to school yourself. Even if you’ve been driving for 30 years, make time for a refresher course in safe driving.  Or, make it a family night, and combine with quiz or lesson, such as Toyota’s Distracted Drivers Board Game, available on its website. Driving basics, such as making full stops at stop signs and red lights and other good habits, should also be reviewed. Remember that distracted driving unfortunately didn’t end with the summer either. The national report “Distracted Drivers in School Zones” offers sobering statistics about the effects, so turn off/put down your cell phone while in the car. While it’s an exciting time, getting back to school can be stressful, too. Tolerance and defensive driving will get you everywhere you need to go safely.
  6. Teen drivers.  Be sure to talk with your teens about watching for others on foot, bikes, and cars.  Many young people who are not very experienced need to be reminded of all the distractions both in the cars and out.  Don’t forget that there are many discounts available to teen drivers, good student discounts if they carry a “B” average or better, we have a teenSmart program through one of our carriers that can safe $100’s a year.  If you would like to know more, be sure to fill out our Contact Us page and we will give you a call.  Or you can call Kim at  Gilles Insurance Agency 740-990-7107.

Here is to a great school year!

Your Risk Adviser,

Kim Gilles

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