Back to School Transportation Safety Tips

(Image courtesy: DOT.gov)Fall is here, and with it comes shorter days and the start of the school year.  Road travel increases and traffic patterns shift, so this busy time of year can also be a dangerous one—especially for children.

Many children rely on walking, riding a bicycle, or catching a school bus to and from school.  Fewer daylight hours can make it difficult for motorists to see these young students.  Take advantage of the following tips and resources to strengthen your traffic safety knowledge.  Then teach and reinforce your children’s pedestrian, bicycle, and school bus safety habits.

Tip #1—Walking Safely
In 2013, one fifth (19%) of all children 5 to 9 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.  Pedestrians 10 and younger must be accompanied by an adult or young adult on their way to and from school.  Show children how to properly cross the street by stopping at the curb and looking left-right-left for traffic.  Learn about pedestrian safety from rating the walkability of your neighborhood to understanding the growth and developmental stages of your child’s ability.
Tip #2—Biking Safely
In 2013, 18% of the bicyclists injured in motor vehicle crashes were 14 and younger. The two best protections while biking to and from school are a properly fitted bicycle helmet and a good grasp of traffic safety rules.  Learn more about bicycle safety, from selecting the right helmet to inspecting your family’s bikes, before hitting the road.
Tip #3—Riding the Bus Safely
The U.S. Department of Transportation identifies school buses as the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school. Even though school buses are the safest mode of transportation, ensure your children are careful around the school bus “danger zone”—10 feet in front, 10 feet behind, and on each side of the bus.
Tip #4—Riding in the Car Safely
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children 3 to 14 years of age. Children in the front seat are 40% more likely to be injured in car crashes.  If a child is 12 and younger, he/she belongs in the back seat.

Returning to school in the fall is always a fun and exciting time for students, but if you or a loved one is injured in a vehicle accident or as a pedestrian or cyclist, my team and I can help you.  I am a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer with over 30 years of experience in helping the injured, proudly serving the people of Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, and Okeechobee.  Call me for a free case analysis and evaluation.

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