Back to School Safety Tips for the 2022-2023 School Year
Summer is almost over, and communities and families are getting prepared for their children to go back to school. It can be a stressful and hectic time for parents, as they adjust their schedules to the school year and ponder the best ways to get their children to school safely. Whether they are travelling by foot, bicycle, or bus, here are some back-to-school safety tips for parents and children to follow to ensure the safety of everyone.
Driving Tips for Parents
Driving your children safely to school does not just affect your family, but the whole community as well. Multiple school zones and an increased presence of law enforcement, particularly in the state of Delaware, are all vital to the safety of our children. Here are some driving tips for parents when dropping off their kids at school:
- Obey the school zone speed limits: slow down and drive with increased caution.
- Always be aware of what is around you and be prepared for kids being in places you may not expect, such as between in parked cars.
- Be sure to stop completely when school busses are loading or unloading children.
- Eliminate any distractions, such as phone usage or loud music.
- Do not unload or load your children across the street from school, always by the curb on the same side of the street.
- Do not double park, as it blocks the area of visibility for children and other drivers.
- Never pass another vehicle, especially a bus, or change lanes when in a school zone.
- Be aware of kids not paying attention to cars and looking at their phones.
- If possible, carpool to reduce the number of cars in the drop off lanes.
- Do not block crosswalks.
When you are outside of a school zone and on your normal route, you will likely encounter a school bus at a bus stop dropping off or picking up children. Keep these few tips in mind when this situation occurs:
- Never pass a bus that has stopped to unload or load children. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), most children who lose their lives in a bus-related incident were on foot and between the ages of four and seven and were hit by someone trying to pass a stopped bus. This is illegal in all 50 states.
- If you are following a school bus, always maintain a safe following distance of at least three car lengths.
- School buses are equipped with flashing lights to alert other drivers of their intention: yellow flashing lights mean that the bus is slowing down and preparing to stop, and you should slow down as well. Be extra cautious because there may be children running to the stop nearby. Red flashing lights means the bus is stopped and is about to load or unload children.
- When stopping for a bus, be sure to stop at least ten feet away, allowing children enough room to safely walk to the bus.
Bus Safety Tips for Children and Parents
Statistics show that school buses are some of the safest vehicles on the road. Still, it is a good idea for parents to know and share these tips with their children when waiting for the bus, riding, and exiting the bus:
- Always try to get to the bus stop early so there is no need to rush across the street.
- While waiting for the bus, be sure to stand far enough from the road.
- Never try to enter the bus and step off the curb until the bus comes to a complete stop. Do not enter until the bus driver gives the okay.
- Do not move while in the bus and stay in your seat, and never shout at the driver which could lead to a distraction.
- Remember to never walk in the driver’s blind spot and always be in their view.
- When entering or exiting the bus, always use the handrail.
- When approaching the bus, be sure to make eye contact with the driver as they are coming to a stop.
- Always cross the bus from the front, and even though traffic is supposed to stop for the bus, look both ways before crossing the street.
- When leaving the bus, stay in view of the driver and do not run.
- Go to the bus stop with your child and explain to them the proper way to exit and enter the bus.
Bicycling Tips for Children
Check with your child’s school first if it is okay for your child to ride their bicycle to school. Here are some basic safety tips for children should you decide that riding their bicycle is the best way to get to school:
- Always wear bright-colored clothing.
- Wear a helmet that fits correctly and is secured. Bicycle helmets help reduce the risk of a head injury by almost 85 percent.
- Always ride on the right side of the road.
- Choose the safest route between school and home and go over it with your child.
- Warn children against riding their bikes alone and make sure they ride with a parent or trusted friend.
- Come to a complete stop at stop signs and while crossing the street.
- Use hand signals when turning.
- Always be alert for opening car doors and hazards on the roadway.
Walking Tips for Children
If you live close enough, you and your child may be able to walk to school if the school allows it. Some schools may not until the child has reached a certain grade. If you are not confident in your child’s walking skills, you can either walk with them to school or decide on another form of transportation.
- Pick the safest route to and from school and practice the route with your child.
- Be sure the route has crossing guards at intersections.
- Always walk on the sidewalk if available.
- Always cross the street at crosswalks and intersections and check if cars are coming.
- Make sure your child always takes the route you practiced and never veer from it.
- Walk in a group with friends or other classmates.
- Wear light or bright colored clothing.
- If a stranger approaches and offers a ride home, run away and yell for help, and alert the nearest business or store.
Wilmington Personal Injury Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Can Help Parents and Children Injured by Another’s Negligence
The opening of the school year can be a frantic time for most families, but it is important to remind ourselves that the safety of our children is most important. If you or your child has been injured by the negligence of another party, then contact the Wilmington personal injury lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. immediately. Call us today at 302-656-5445 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. With our offices located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we proudly serve all clients of Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.