The best ideas for back-to-school safety

Sep 2019

Buffalo car accident attorneyThe 2019/2020 school year has just begun in the greater Buffalo area. That means more kids will be walking, riding bicycles, and being dropped off at school. In addition, buses will be making frequent stops during the morning and afternoon hours.

For kids returning to school, the greatest danger isn’t on the bus, however. It is when children approach, enter, or depart buses and school zones, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

From 2008-2017, there were 264 reported child fatalities that occurred in school transportation-related crashes. Approximately 203 of the children who died in crashes were pedestrians, bicyclists, or passengers in cars.

Back-to-School Safety Tips for Drivers

It may be tempting to become impatient when approaching the lengthy traffic lines in school zones. It is important, however, for drivers to understand that the actions they take when in a rush may put children in danger of being hit by a car. In order to avoid this, the NHTSA suggests allowing more commuting time and being prepared to stop for school buses and children crossing the street.

Teen drivers traveling to school are encouraged to buckle up and ensure all vehicle passengers are also wearing seatbelts. Risky driving maneuvers, speeding, and distraction should be avoided at all costs.

What parents and students can do

Parents should always be conscious and engaged in their children’s safety before sending them off or driving them to school. Children should be at the bus stop five minutes before the bus arrival. The NHTSA also suggests that parents and children practice the SAFE procedure, which involves these four steps:

  • Stay five steps away from the curb.
  • Always wait until the bus stops completely and the driver tells you to board before getting on.
  • Face forward when seated on the bus.
  • Exit the bus after it has come to a complete stop and look both ways before crossing the street.

For walkers, a parent or guardian should always accompany kids under 10. If available, sidewalks should be used. Otherwise, the edge of the street facing traffic should be used by walkers. If they are accessible, walkers should also use crosswalks and look left and right before they cross the road.

Bicyclists are urged to wear helmets, ride with traffic moving in the same direction, and follow all traffic signals and signs. Always use bicycle lanes if they are accessible and remain alert at all times.

If the actions of a negligent driver resulted in you or a loved one being injured, a car accident attorney can fight for justice on your behalf. The Law Offices of James Morris proudly represents injured motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and passengers throughout greater Buffalo. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

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