August is officially Back to School Month! If your child is heading back to in-person learning this year, it’s imperative that you teach them certain safety skills and ensure that you remain defensive when driving in school zone areas. Below, we provide a comprehensive guide to ensuring safety during this time.
Driving Around School Zones and Buses
Driving in any location requires your full attention to be on the road, but you need to be even more vigilant when driving in school zones. Young children may be harder to spot and may unexpectedly dart out in the road in front of your car. It’s also important to keep in mind that you must take extra precautions when sharing the road with school buses.
As a motorist, here are some tips that you should implement when traveling in school zones:
- Reduce your speed, as the speed limit in school zones is typically 15-25 mph.
- Eliminate distractions, especially cell phones.
- Always stop for a crossing guard who is holding up a stop sign.
- Never pass another vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
- When flashers are blinking, stop and yield to crossing pedestrians.
- Never honk or rev your engine at a pedestrian.
- Remember, yellow lights on a school bus mean to slow down. Red lights on a school bus indicate that children are getting off or on, so you should wait at least 20 feet behind.
For Children Walking to School
Walking to school may seem like a mundane activity, but when it comes to young children walking to school, parents should reiterate the importance of safe walking practices. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that children younger than 10 years old should be accompanied by a parent or adult while walking to school. Additionally, remind your children to:
- Use the sidewalk whenever possible instead of walking in the street.
- If there isn’t a sidewalk, walk on the side of the street that is facing oncoming traffic.
- Don’t cross the street with headphones in or while looking at a cell phone.
- Only cross the street when the crossing guard or crosswalk indicates to do so.
- Before crossing the street, look left and right twice and make eye contact with drivers.
- There’s safety and visibility in numbers. Whenever possible, walk in groups.
For Children Riding Bikes to School
Children love riding their bikes to school, but it’s important to keep in mind that young children on bicycles may not know the rules of the road that they have to follow. Here are some reminders for your children so that they can stay safe on two wheels:
- Wear bright-colored clothing to increase visibility.
- Always wear a properly secured helmet when riding a bike.
- Be sure to check the bicycle you are riding before you begin your trip.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic and obey traffic signs.
- Watch for opening doors, potholes, and other road hazards.
- Ride in the bicycle lane whenever possible.
- Use hand signals when turning.
We’re Here If You Ever Need Us
Lastly, we want to reiterate the importance of knowing what precautions are being taken at your child’s school during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Make sure to check out the district’s website for more information, as well as the Colorado Department of Education website for COVID-19 resources and other school district reopening plans.
Were you or was your child harmed due to negligence? Contact our Boulder personal injury attorneys at (303) 448-8884 today. We will do everything in our power to hold liable parties accountable and help you recover.