The end of summer means the beginning of a new school year, and the beginning of a new school term means a surge in early-morning traffic.
Whether you’re sharing the road with school buses or if your little ones are headed back to the classroom, brush up on responsible commuting practices. Follow these safety tips back to school commuters should know.
Sharing the Road
Things can get pretty hectic during the AM rush. With so many other vehicles bustling about, it’s more important than ever to stay vigilant behind the wheel.
Caution is needed when you consider that some 100 children die and 25,000 are injured in school zone accidents every year, as reported by the U.S.-based Transportation Research Board.
These safety tips back to school season commuters need to heed clearly aren’t always followed by all drivers.
- Avoid exceeding the posted speed limit. All school zones have flashing signs that indicate temporary decreases in legal driving speeds.
- Use your turn signal to broadcast your intentions every time you take a turn, merge, or change lanes, without exception.
- Follow the proper right-of-way procedures at stop signs, multi-directional intersections, and pull-out points.
- Be prepared to stop or yield to school buses as they enter and exit the school zone. Failing to stop for a school bus that’s loading or unloading is a violation of the law in all 50 states.
- Put smartphones and other devices away until you’re back home or at the office so they won’t be a distraction. The organization Safe Kids Worldwide found that on average, as many as 1 in 10 drivers are distracted by a mobile device while dropping off or picking up their school-aged children.
Putting Your Child on the Bus
School buses provide a safe and reliable means of transportation for school children, but they’re only as safe as the behavior of other drivers on the road.
According to the National Safety Council, most accidents that occur at or near bus stops involve children between the ages of 4 and 7 who are on foot.
If your child rides the bus, follow these safety tips back to school kids should heed to make sure they reach their destination without incident.
- Instruct them to stand back from the curb at least several feet while waiting for the bus.
- Make sure they wait for the bus to reach a full stop and activate its loading lights before climbing aboard.
- If possible, keep them in sight until they’re safely on the bus and in their seats.
- Remind them to look both ways before crossing the street after they exit the bus.
Dropping Your Child Off
School entrances are veritable minefields of unseen dangers.
To navigate these hazards securely, you’ll need to remember a few basic guidelines.
- Always let your child out at a designated walkway close to an entry point, not from across the street.
- Double-check that your child has all of the necessary materials before letting them out to prevent them from making an unexpected trip back to the car.
- Watch out for students, faculty members, accompanying parents, and other pedestrians who might be traversing the area on foot.
- If possible, set up a carpool with other parents to reduce trips and limit the number of vehicles competing for space.
Help After an Accident
Of course, if you or a loved one is injured in an accident, seek medical treatment immediately. If you believe that injury was caused by someone else’s negligence or reckless conduct, you have rights to compensation for your injuries. At Brandon J Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in compassionate client care and can answer your questions. Contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success, we can get you the justice you deserve.