Once again, it’s time for kids to go back to school. As a result, there are more people walking to and from schools, more bicyclists, and an increase is overall traffic in school zones. Whether children are biking to school, walking to school, taking the bus, or are passengers in vehicles, one thing is certain: there are many dangers in school zones.
The Facts About Pedestrian Dangers in School Zones
According to the organization Safe Kids Worldwide, there are about five teen pedestrian deaths every week in the United States, representing a 13% increase in pedestrian deaths among 12- to 19-year-olds since 2013. These statistics are frightening for parents of kids and teens who walk to school.
Increases in both distracted pedestrians and distracted drivers are key factors behind the alarming statistics. The truth of the matter is distracted walking is on the rise, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. Not only are middle school and high school students walking distracted, but many students are participating in other risky street-crossing behaviors that could put them in danger of being injured in a pedestrian accident.
Protecting Kids Going Back to School
Because our law firm would like to keep children safe and see a reduction in car and pedestrian accidents, we would encourage children and parents to take the following steps:
Things Children Can Do to Improve Their Safety While Walking to School
- Don’t walk to school wearing headphones.
- Don’t text and walk.
- Don’t cross the street against the lights.
- Don’t cross the street mid-block. Cross only at crosswalks.
- Don’t cross the street without looking both ways.
- Don’t walk in front of a parked car or directly in front of a bus.
Things Parents Can Do to Help Keep Kids Safe Within School Zones
- Slow down while driving in school zones.
- Be alert and watch for kids while driving.
- Stay off your phone when at the wheel.
- Follow safe drop-off and pick-up policies.
- Educate children about the importance of safe pedestrian behaviors.
- Remind children about the rules of cycling when riding a bike to school.
- Encourage children to stand six feet away from the curb when waiting for the school bus and remind them to only cross the street ahead of a school bus when they are in clear view of the bus driver.
We hope this list of safety reminders will help keep your kids safe this school year, and we encourage you to share this blog with those you know on your favorite social media site in an effort to reduce school zone accidents.