Back-to-School Safety Tips

It’s that time of year again! Now that summer vacation is over, parents and children throughout the country are preparing for the upcoming school year. It is important to understand—and share with your kids—some key tips that will help keep them safe from harm’s way.

Although parents are often referring to school violence due to recent events, remember that children are more likely to sustain an unintentional injury. One of the most common causes of injuries and fatalities among school-age children are transportation-related classes. Whether your child walks, takes the bus, or rides their bicycle to school, he/she must take proper safety precautions.

Walking

Walking to school with your child is a great way to get exercise and help them prepare for the subjects of the day. Children under 10 years of age should be accompanied by an adult to ensure they are walking safely.

The following are several safety tips for walking to school:

  • Walk on the sidewalk. If there isn’t one, walk on the edge of the street facing traffic.
  • Prior to crossing the street, stop and look left, right, and then left again to see any oncoming vehicles.
  • Use crosswalks whenever they are available to cross the street.
  • Never dart out in front of a parked vehicle.
  • Avoid texting or talking on the phone while walking.

Riding the School Bus

School buses are considered one of the safest ways a child can travel to and from school. However, there are dangers when kids are boarding or leaving the bus.

Teach your child to always play it SAFE:

  • Stay five steps away from the curb
  • Always wait for the bus driver to allow you to board
  • Face forward after sitting down on the bus
  • Exit the bus when it stops, then look left, right, and left again, finally take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.

Biking

Children and bicycles go hand-in-hand. They can be a fun and quick way to get to school. However, sharing the road with motor vehicles can be quite dangerous.

Here are some safety tips for children who ride their bikes to school:

  • Always wear a helmet that is properly fitted and secured.
  • Wear bright-colored clothing to appear visible to other motorists.
  • Obey the rules of the road.
  • Stay in the bike lane whenever possible.
  • Always stay on the right-hand side of the road and ride in the same direction as other vehicles.
  • Keep an eye out for opening car doors and other hazards
  • Use hand signals when turning.
  • If possible, try to ride with others.

Driving

When teenagers finally get their license, they can’t wait to hit the road and enjoy their new-found freedom. Unfortunately, teens are the largest age group who are victims of fatal car accidents caused by distracted driving. Additionally, their inexperience behind the wheel often makes them not prepared for unexpected road conditions, leading to collisions.

The following are several safety tips for teen drivers:

  • Obey the rules of the road.
  • Avoid texting or talking on your cell phone while driving.
  • Avoid having many passengers in your vehicle.
  • Always wear a seat belt.
  • Yield to pedestrians on crosswalks.
  • Drive slowly in school zones.

If you or your loved one has suffered an injury caused by the negligent actions of another person in New York, request a free consultation with our NYC personal injury attorney at Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP today.