Back to School Safety
As summer vacations come to an end, students are readying themselves for the start of a new school year. With all of the excitement this time brings, safety may not be the first subject that springs to mind. The American Red Cross encourages parents to take time to talk with their children about safety before school starts.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 24 million students nationwide start their school day with a trip on the school bus. Although it reports that riding on a school bus is nearly eight times safer than riding in a passenger vehicle, an average of 11 school-aged pedestrians are killed by school transportation vehicles each year. Whether they walk, ride the bus or travel by car, teach your kids these few tips to ensure they get to and from school safely.
Tips for School Bus Riders
- Line up facing the bus, not along side it.
- Do not play in the street while waiting for the bus.
- Carry all loose belongings in a bag or backpack.
- Never reach under the school bus to get anything that has rolled or fallen beneath it.
The bus driver may be sitting too high up to see you.
- After getting off the bus, move immediately onto the sidewalk and out of traffic.
If there is no sidewalk, try to stay as far to the side of the road as possible.
- Wait for a signal from the bus driver before crossing the street.
Walk at least 10 steps away from the front of the bus so the driver can see you.
- Never cross the street or play behind the school bus.
Tips for Pedestrians or Bike Riders
- Never walk alone—always travel with a buddy.
- Pay attention to all traffic signals and crossing guards along the way.
- Never cross the street against a stop light. Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.
- Avoid ill-fitting clothing that could get caught in spokes or pedals or restrict movements, and wear reflective colors and material to be more visible to street traffic.
- Walk your bicycle across all intersections.
Tips for Car Drivers and Passengers
- Everyone in the car should wear a seatbelt, as they lower the risk of injury in the event of a crash by 45 percent.
- Make sure babies and young children are in safety seats at all times, and that safety seats have been properly installed.
- Read your car’s manual for safety precautions specifically relate to the car and its airbags.
- Remind teenagers to take extra precautions if they are driving to school or riding with another teenage driver.