With children back at school, parents can finally breathe a sigh of relief. But one thing you can’t relax on is childhood safety. Children can be injured at school in many ways, but in this post we want to focus on how to safely transport your children to school.
Many parents distrust busses and think they are dangerous. In reality, as research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has shown, a school bus is the safest method of transportation for children. Each year, only 4-6 children die in bus accidents, which represents less than 1% of all accidents in the country. In sum, children are 70 times safer taking a bus than traveling by car.
However, bus accidents can and do occur. Recently, KXAN reported on a school bus for special needs children that hit a parked car in late August in Round Rock. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
To keep your children safe, teach them to avoid stepping into the road to catch the bus until they see it come to a complete stop and for the door to open.
Children should also never walk behind the bus. Instead, NHTSA recommends that you tell your children to cross the street at least 10 feet in front of the bus so that they are visible. Children should also make eye contact with the driver before crossing.
Transporting Your Children Safely
If you choose to drive, then you should be especially cautious. Remember that children might be walking or taking a bicycle to school, and you need to be on the lookout for them.
Be particularly careful when entering a school zone. Always double check your blind spots before pulling up to the curb or away from it. You never know when a child will scoot behind you, and school zones can be particularly hectic.
It is also safer to drop your children off directly in front of the school. If you pick them up or drop them off from across the street, then your children have to cross the road, which adds to the risk of an accident.
If your children walk to school, you need to teach them safety tips as well. Children should always wait for all vehicles to stop before entering the crosswalk, even if they have the right of way. If there are crossing guards at the intersection, then your children should stop for the guard and only cross when given permission.
As winter fast approaches, it will get darker sooner. If your children are out at night, have them carry a flashlight which will make them visible to drivers. You can also put reflective tape on their jacket so that they stand out.
DC Law Wishes You a Safe School Year
By practicing simple safety tips, we can dramatically reduce the number of accidents suffered by our children. However, if someone negligently injures you or your child, then you should contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options.