Going back to school is a time of fresh beginnings and learning new things, as well as becoming reacquainted with old friends. As summer draws to a close and autumn begins, the thrill of playing the day away is soon replaced by the need to buckle back down for another year of studying. While stocking up on the necessary school supplies and getting in on all the best back-to-school clothing sales, it’s important to consider the serious side of this time of year: safety.
Staying safe on the roadways now that traffic is ramping up is a prime concern for drivers, bus commuters, and pedestrians alike. Whether a student is a teen driver or a middle school child who walks to school, there is a need for heightened awareness while traveling to and from school. Here are a few tips from the National Safety Council for staying safe on the way to and from campus:
When walking, always use sidewalks and crosswalks when available and walk facing the oncoming traffic. Always walk with the assumption that drivers cannot see you, and act accordingly.
When bicycling, always wear protective gear and stick to bicycle lanes where possible. Always ride on the right-hand side of the road, going in the same direction as the traffic. Do not allow children to ride bicycles to school without proper safety gear and training in the rules of the road.
When driving, be on the lookout for pedestrians and cyclists, and give them space. Slow down in school zones and obey instructions given by school crossing guards so that everyone can get to their destinations safely.
According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in its 2014 update to the Traffic Safety Facts report, commuting via school bus is one of the safest ways to travel to and from campus. However, bus travel is not without risks. Always stand two yards back from the curb when waiting for the bus to arrive, and never cross directly in front of a stopped school bus unless you are 10 or more feet ahead of the bus and you and the driver can easily see one another.
No matter which mode of transport you use, always look both ways before entering the roadway and keep an eye out for hidden dangers.
Staying safe on and off campus
Staying alive during the commute is only a part of back-to-school safety. Here are some tips for avoiding injury and ensuring personal security both on and off campus:
- Never use personalized backpacks or clothing—you don’t want strangers knowing your child’s name.
- Do not overfill backpacks with supplies—have your child use a locker for heavier items to avoid potential injury.
- Advise your child to use only age-appropriate playground equipment and to avoid reckless behavior like running in the halls.
What to do if you become injured
If you or your child are hurt on the way to or from school, seek medical attention immediately. If you need legal assistance, contact us at 813-915-1110 for a free consultation. The experienced attorneys at Hancock Injury Attorneys can help you navigate the legal system and find out whether you may be entitled to financial compensation for your pain and suffering.