Getting Ready for Back to School – Safe Driving Tips
While many children have started off the new Fall school year, the kids in the Pacific Northwest are still enjoying these last few weeks of summer. If the hustle and bustle of carpooling, walks to the bus stop, and kids biking to school is about to start, it’s a good time to review some safety precautions for getting to school and home safely.
Dropping Your Kids Off
- Make sure you and your children are familiar with the drop-off procedures at school. According to the National Safe Routes Program, more children are hit by cars near schools than any other location.
- Take some time to also review these drop-off procedures with your children, and designate a safe pick-up location at your child’s school.
- Don’t load or unload your kids across the street from school. It’s much safer to do so in a designated location on school grounds.
- Be sure everyone is buckled up properly even if you live close to school. Car crashes often happen within a few miles from home.
Share the Road with Young Pedestrians
- Review safe pedestrian procedures with your child. If they’re walking to the bus stop, have a morning walk with them to make sure they arrive safely. Have a good conversation with them about looking both ways before crossing and being aware of their surroundings when they’re crossing the street.
- Don’t block a crosswalk when you’re stopping at a red light or waiting to turn. This can force pedestrians to go around you, putting them in a dangerous path of moving traffic.
- Be mindful of flashers blinking in school zones. While you might not see a pedestrian, a child can run out of nowhere at any time. Stop and yield to pedestrians at the crosswalk and intersections.
- Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign.
- Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas.
Share the Road with School Buses
- When the red lights flash on the school bus, stop at least 10 feet away to allow children to safely exit.
- It’s illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that’s stopped to load and unload children.
- The 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children. Stop far enough away so that children have enough space to safely enter and exit the bus.
Remember, these precautions are for the safety of all children. If you tend to find yourself in a hurry these summer mornings, leave a little earlier than normal and give yourself extra time to arrive safely at your destination with your children.
Source: National Safety Council