Back to School Driving Safety

Back to School Is A Hazardous Time of Year for Students

School Bus

Traffic Accidents are the Leading Cause of Fatalities Among Children 4 to 18

Back to School Driving Safety Courtesy of USAA

New outfits and backpacks are always first picks for back to school shopping, but should brighter headlights jump to the head of the class for parents and teen drivers?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic accidents are the single most common cause of death for children ages 4 to 18, and autumn is the most dangerous time of year for pedestrians, accounting for 29 percent of pedestrian-related fatalities. Fading headlights may be the most overlooked safety feature when it comes to vehicle and pedestrian safety.

Each year, approximately 800 school-aged children are killed in motor vehicle accidents during normal school travel hours – 74 percent are the result of private passenger vehicles. Approximately 22 percent are bicycle or pedestrian accidents. Often times, a teenager is driving.

So as kids head back to school by foot and car, SYLVANIA, the world leader in automotive lighting solutions, reminds drivers about being safe on the road.

“We were astounded when we learned about the tragic number of vehicle accidents that take place this time of year that involve school-aged children,” said Joe Verbanic, Marketing Manager for SYLVANIA. “I cannot stress how important it is to talk about vehicle safety with new drivers as well as equip parents with some simple safety tips.”

First and foremost, drivers should consider upgrading their headlights before kids head back to school. Stats from SYLVANIA show that automotive bulbs will dim up to 20 percent over time, and it happens gradually so sometimes drivers don’t notice.

“It is critical that drivers have excellent visibility, as it allows for more time to recognize hazards like debris, animals, and most importantly, kids biking or walking to school. Whiter, brighter headlights benefit all drivers – especially inexperienced teenagers – who are not used to dealing with traffic, congestion and distractions. Plus, kids that walk to school while it’s still dusk are better able to see oncoming traffic when headlights are brighter,” said Verbanic. “SilverStar® ULTRA headlights by SYLVANIA allow drivers to see farther, wider and better because they are brighter than the bulbs that are currently in your vehicle.”

Not only is headlight maintenance an important part of the equation, ensuring that children who walk to school during the early morning hours are wearing clothes that are easily seen is key as well. Also, parents should talk to their children about being aware of their surroundings, suggest that they buddy up if possible, and avoid wearing headphones or texting while walking. While waiting at the bus stop, remind them to be mindful of traffic and be careful about playing on the sidewalk or near the street.

This fall for back to school, SYLVANIA is encouraging families to help improve their driving visibility and safety, and is making it easy with the following tips on headlight replacement:

·         Mark Your Calendar – Every August, check your headlights before the school season starts. Think you’ll forget? Have your children put a sticker on the family calendar to serve as a reminder.

·         Do a Spot Check – Lights don’t just burn out, they dim overtime. Park on a level surface facing five feet from a building wall or your garage door. Then, turn your headlights on. If the circles of light are bright and white, you are good to go! If they’re yellow or dim, it’s time to swap out your bulbs.

·         Upgrade Your Lighting – If you want to see better and further down the road, consider upgrading. SilverStar® ULTRA bulbs by SYLVANIA provide up to 40 percent increased down road visibility, up to 50 percent increased side road visibility and up to 50 percent brighter light compared to worn standard halogen headlights, which is what is most likely in your vehicle. These bulbs deliver the whitest and brightest light of all SYLVANIA halogen products.

·         Avoid Double Trouble – Always change your headlights in pairs. If one has dimmed or burnt out, it’s likely that the other one is not far behind.

·         Don’t be Afraid to Ask – Know your vehicle year, make and model and use a catalog to find the part number needed. If you are having trouble, ask an assistant for help – that’s what they are there for and chances are, they will quickly be able to help you find the right bulbs for your car.

For more information about SYLVANIA’s full line of headlight replacement bulbs or to view an online catalog, visit You can also download SYLVANIA’s free iPhone app at the iTunes store, which makes it easy for drivers to find the correct replacement headlights, signal bulbs and almost all other auto bulbs for their car, truck, van or SUV. SYLVANIA products can be found at major automotive retail outlets.

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