Children are headed back to school for another year of learning. But with that comes more traffic on the roads and hazards for children as they make their way to and from school. Keep in mind some important back-to-school safety tips to keep everyone safe during the 2022-2023 school year.
If you live near your school, your child might be able to walk to and from school during nice weather. To protect children, review these walking safety tips with your child:
- Stay on the sidewalk when available. Only use the street when you must and walk facing the traffic if you’re in the roadway.
- Look both ways when crossing the street. Start by looking left, then right, and then left again, especially on major roadways where cars are going fast. They can seemingly come out of nowhere.
- Pause to make eye contact with motorists before entering a crosswalk or intersection. This ensures the driver sees you.
- Avoid distracted walking by keeping your phone in your pocket or backpack. The more alert you are, the less likely you’ll be to experience an accident.
Before allowing a child to bike to school, teach them the rules of the road. A good way to do this is to ride the route with them a few times during low-traffic periods. As you ride, explain these key safety measures.
- Ride on the right side of the road going the same direction as the traffic. Always ride in single file if you’re riding with others.
- Always stop completely before crossing the street. In busy intersections, it’s a good idea to walk your bike, so you have greater control to pivot or protect yourself in case a car comes at you unexpectedly.
- Never ride distracted. Stow all electronic devices and don’t wear earphones that could interrupt your ability to hear motorists.
- Always wear a properly fitting helmet and try to wear bright clothes or a safety vest to ensure motorists can see you at all times.
Many children ride the bus to school each day. But just because it is common does not mean you should leave your child’s safety up to common sense. Teach children these safety measures to keep them safe this school year:
- For the first several days, go to the bus stop with your child. Teach them how to get on and off the bus safely.
- Educate your child about standing 6 feet from the curb to ensure they are safe from motorists.
- If you live on the opposite side of the road from the bus stop, teach children how to cross the road safely and to make eye contact with the bus driver so that you know you can see each other at all times.
Parent Safety When Driving a Child to School
Parents who drive their children to school are responsible for ensuring their child’s safety. Here are some reminders about how to keep everyone safe when driving your child to school.
- Follow all school zone speed limits. Read up on your school’s drop-off procedure to ensure safety and a smooth process each day.
- When children are crossing the street, make eye contact with them to keep everyone safe.
- Do not pass a bus when it is dropping off or picking up children.
- Always stop at least 10 feet away from buses dropping off and picking up children. The 10 feet around a bus are the most dangerous.
Teen Driver Safety
If you have a child who will be driving themselves to and from school this year, make sure they are following safe driving practices:
- Practice with your new driver frequently. Do a test run of going to school so you can talk about hazards you see along the way or parking lot safety.
- Set a good example for your child by never driving distracted, engaging in road rage, or speeding.
- Make rules about where your child can drive alone and consider signing the New Driver Deal so you are on the same page about driving safety.
Even with the best safety practices, children still get hurt on their way to and from school. If that happens to you, Stewart & Stewart is here to help. Schedule a free consultation to learn more.