Fall is around the corner and that means it’s time for kids to head back to school. The first few months of a new school year can be chaotic for Nebraska families, especially if your children are headed to a new school. Amidst the chaos, accidents can occur if drivers or pedestrians are careless. All it takes is one mistake to place the lives of our youth at risk.
Did you know that between the years 2006 and 2015, 301 school-aged children died in school transportation-related crashes in the U.S.? Be prepared to remind your kids to prioritize safety when traveling to and from school. This is the best way to keep them safe and stop them from becoming another statistic.
Here are 5 back-to-school safety tips for Nebraska families:
- When taking your kids to school by car, don’t run the risk of speeding or disobeying the laws of traffic if you’re running late or in a hurry. Slow down. Leave home early if you’re worried about being late/your child being late.
- When waiting to pick up your kids from school, have patience. Schools get extremely chaotic when that last bells rings. Be patient when waiting your turn to pull up in front of the school. Resist the urge to double park or tell your child to run out into the street if you’re not at the curb. Remember, our children learn from what we tell them. It’s never a good idea to encourage a child to run out into the street alongside moving vehicles.
- If your child is taking the school bus, teach them the four basic rules of riding a school bus safely (otherwise known as SAFE):
- Stay five steps away from the curb when waiting for the bus to arrive.
- Always wait for the bus driver to tell you when it’s safe to board.
- Face forward when seated.
- Exit the bus when it comes to a complete stop and look left, right, then left again before taking a step forward.
- If your child walks to school, remember they should be accompanied by an adult if they’re under 10 years old. Teach your child to stick to the sidewalks or walk on the side of the street facing traffic if there are no sidewalks. Teach them the importance of crosswalks and looking both ways before crossing.
- If your child bikes to school, teach them the importance of wearing a bike helmet and to follow the basic laws of traffic. Instruct them to ride in the same direction as traffic and to make use of bike lanes whenever possible.
In addition to the above tips, always, always be sure to never allow yourself or your child to become distracted while driving, walking, or biking to school. Distracted driving is a serious epidemic in Nebraska and throughout the United States and causes devastating accidents on our roads and highways every day. We must all do our part to discourage those around us from using our cell phones and electronic devices while driving or otherwise becoming distracted. As parents, it starts with us.
If you or someone you love was seriously injured in an accident that may have been caused by a distracted driver or other negligent driver, financial compensation could be available to you. Get in touch with Welsh & Welsh to learn more. Our Omaha car accident lawyers are on your side.