Fall is here, and with it comes shorter days and the start of the school year. Road travel increases and traffic patterns shift, so this busy time of year can also be a dangerous one − especially for children.
Take advantage of the following tips and resources to strengthen your traffic safety knowledge. Then teach and reinforce your children’s pedestrian, bicycle, school bus and/or public transportation safety habits.
Pedestrians 10 and younger must be accompanied by an adult or young adult on their way to and from school. Show them how to cross the street by stopping at the curb and looking left-right-left for traffic before crossing. Take time before school starts to learn about pedestrian safety and decide how pedestrian-friendly your neighborhood is to understanding the growth and developmental stages of your children’s abilities.
The two best protections when biking to and from school are a properly fitted bicycle helmet and a good grasp of traffic safety rules. Let your child choose the helmet, and explain it’s “just part of the gear,” like football, skiing or hockey equipment. Be proactive and learn more about bicycle safety, from selecting the right helmet to inspecting your family’s bikes before hitting the road.
Riding the Bus Safely
School buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school. Even so, your kids need to be especially careful around the school bus “danger zone” − 10 feet in front, 10 feet behind, and on each side of the bus. Before they go back to school or start school for the first time, take advantage of these bus safety resources , and teach your kids these common-sense practices.
Riding in the Car Safely
Did you know children in the front seat are 40 percent more likely to be injured in crashes? If your kids are 12 and younger, make sure they ride in the back seat. Learn more about car safety, from understanding the child passenger safety laws in your State to selecting the right seat for your child.
As a parent, you’re the #1 influence on the kind of pedestrian, bicyclist and driver your child will become. Set a positive example and keep your children safe. Whether walking, biking or driving, stay completely focused on the road and put your cell phone away when in traffic. Learn about driving safely and find out the laws on distracted driving in your State.