Keeping Your Children Safe during Back-to-School Season

Date: August 28, 2017
Posted In: In The Community

Back-to-school season is in full swing, and that means there is more early morning traffic for those headed off to work each day. Knowing this, and the risk it poses to their children can give parents an extra dose of anxiety. Thankfully, there are ways that parents can protect their children from bus accidents, car accidents, bicycle accidents, motorycle accidents and pedestrian accidents during the school months.

With that in mind, here are a thirty back-to-school safety tips to get the year off to a great start!

School Zone Safety Tips

• Be aware of school zones and ALWAYS obey the speed limits
• Stop for school busses that are loading or unloading children
• Look out for crossing guards and always be sure to obey their signals
• Never pass other vehicles while driving in a school zone
• Don’t change lanes while driving in a school zone
• Never make u-turns while driving in a school zone
• Do not use a cell phone while driving in a school zone
• Unless licensed to do so, do not use handicap or emergency lanes or spaces to drop off or pick up children at school

Riding Your Bike to School

• Check with the school to make sure your child is allowed to ride their bicycle to school. Some schools do not allow students to ride bicycles to school until they reach a specific grade
• Make sure your child always wears a helmet! Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent
• Always stay on the right-hand side of the road and ride in the same direction as traffic.
• Be sure your child knows and uses all bicycle hand signals
• Choose the safest route between home and school and practice it with children until they can demonstrate traffic safety awareness
• If possible, try to ride with someone else. There is safety in numbers.

Walking to School

• Use the same route every day — never use shortcuts
• Go straight home after school, and do not go anywhere else without permission
• Always use public sidewalks and streets when walking to school
• Pick the safest route between your home and the school and practice walking it with your children
• Try and walk to school with other students
• Only cross streets at crosswalks, street corners and traffic controlled intersections
• Always look both ways before crossing the street and never enter streets from between obstacles like parked cars, shrubbery, signs, etc
• Always walk and never run across intersections
• Don’t talk to strangers. Teach your children to put distance between themselves and anyone who tries to approach or make contact with them
• Teach your children to never get into a vehicle with anyone, even if they know them, without your permission

School Bus Safety

• Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled arrival of the bus
• Make sure your child stays out of the street and does not horseplay while waiting for the school bus
• Be sure the bus comes to a complete stop before getting on or off
• When riding the bus, remain seated and keep your head and arms inside the bus at all times.
• Do not shout or distract the driver
• Do not walk in the driver’s “blind spot” — this is the area from the front of the bus to about 10 feet in front of the bus

If an Accident Does Occur

No matter how hard you try, you cannot protect your child from every adverse event. Should an accident happen to them, it is crucial that you seek experienced legal counsel. Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP can protect your rights and assist with the claims process. Schedule a personalized consultation with our Personal Injury team to learn more. Injury? Call DLP! (570) C-A-L-L-D-L-P

David Smacchi
David is a native of the Wyoming Valley and graduated from Pittston Area High School in 1990. He is a 1994 graduate of Penn State University and a 1999 graduate of The University of Akron School of Law. David practiced law at DLP in its Kingston office since August of 1999, and he has been a Partner in the firm since January of 2007.