No matter the season, there are things drivers need to keep top of mind and heading into the heart of fall it seems appropriate to offer a reminder of what to expect on area roadways.

School has been in session now for more than a month but in light of an incident last week, it seems appropriate to mention the need to safely share the road with school buses.

An Imlay City Schools bus was struck on Thursday afternoon just after stopping to drop off a student on Van Dyke Rd. in Imlay Twp. Fortunately no one was seriously injured but it could have been much worse, as police have noted.

According to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center, there were 1,197 crashes involving school buses in Michigan in 2019—the most in the last 10 years. Of those crashes, 114 happened at bus stops and resulted in 42 injuries.

Later this month, law enforcement officers throughout Michigan will be ramping up patrols as part of Operation Safe Stop and National School Bus Safety Week. Driver should prepare to stop when a slowing bus has its overhead yellow lights flashing and then come to a stop at least 20 feet away from buses when red lights are flashing. When a bus’s hazard lights are flashing, drivers should proceed with caution.

It’s also that time of year to be alert for combines and other farm machinery on the move for harvest season.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers suggests that drivers be aware, predictable and patient when encountering large equipment. Motorists should prepare to slow down and give machinery space when they see the vehicles or their flashing lights ahead. Before attempting to pass, drivers should ensure their vehicles are visible to the operator in the machinery’s mirrors. Remaining patient behind the wheel is imperative for keeping drivers, other motorists and farm employees safe.

The relatively mild fall we’ve experienced so far this year means many motorcycle drivers are still on the road to take advantage of the nice weather. Drivers should heed the adage “Look Twice. Save a Life” every time they come to an intersection—one of the biggest dangers for motorcyclists.

Let’s do what we can to safely share the road with everyone—big, small and in between.