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How Drivers Can Stay Safe During the School Year

School season brings with it certain challenges to drivers, so it's important to remember the established safety practices. The following tips can help Mississippi residents stay safe on the road. The first part concerns what to do in heavy traffic.

In heavy traffic, it can be hard to see cars coming out of driveways, alleys and parking spaces. It can also be hard to spot pedestrians, especially when they are outside of a crosswalk, and bicyclists, who can sometimes pull up into a blind spot. This is why drivers should check their mirrors often, scan one or two blocks ahead and keep an eye on the taillights of the vehicles in front of them. Taillights can alert them to any dangers ahead.

Drivers should move their eyes constantly rather than focus on one object. All distracting activities, such as calling, texting and eating, are out of the question since they take one's eyes off the road. Taking unfamiliar routes is discouraged, mainly because of unforeseen hazards.

When school is in session, drivers need to slow down in school zones and around school buses that have their yellow lights on. When buses have their stop arms extended and red lights on, drivers must make a complete stop. They should maintain a 10-foot safety zone for children getting on or off the bus.

Under auto accident law, people who incur injuries through little to no fault of their own can file claims against the negligent or reckless drivers' auto insurance companies. Mississippi has a pure comparative negligence rule, where only those who are less than 50 percent at fault can receive damages, so victims will want to hire a lawyer rather than file a claim on their own. Legal representation can help during the negotiation phase since insurance companies are aggressive in denying claims.

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