Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
School Safety – Getting Kids To School Safely!
The start of the school year is right around the corner. In light of this, personal injury lawyers note that when school begins, there will be a heightened risk of traffic accidents. The roads will become congested with school buses and children of all ages traveling to school in various ways. It is important that parents and all drivers work to keep children safe as they travel to and from school. Injury claim attorneys and child health advocates agree that all drivers need to pay attention to the following tips that will allow Texas drivers to help kids get to school safely every day.
School Transportation Accident Facts
Every school year, over 5 million children in Texas alone travel to and from school using various forms of transportation. Unfortunately, increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic causes increased traffic accidents involving children. More than 800 children1 lose their lives every year in accidents occurring on the way to or from school. Injury claims attorneys who help clients after a school travel-related accident point out that many of these accidents can be prevented.
Keeping School Transport Safe
A priority that all parents and drivers should work for is how to reduce the risk of traffic accidents while kids travel to and from school. Personal injury lawyers suggest that all drivers consider these important safety tips to prevent the possibility of an accident that could injure school children:
- School Bus - School buses are statistically the safest way for kids to get to and from school.1 The greatest risks involved with riding the school bus are getting on and off the bus, which is primary time when many accidents occur. Drivers of other vehicles must stay alert to stopping school buses, stop their vehicles as required, and not drive on until the bus signals that it is safe to do so. Parents should stay with younger children at bus stops, see that they get on and off the bus safely, and teach children how to properly cross the road in front of the bus. Children should also be taught to look for traffic when crossing, listen to the directions of the bus driver, and sit safely in seats once aboard the bus to stay protected should an accident occur.
- Walking or Bicycling - Many children live close enough to walk or ride to school. This can provide important health benefits; however, children who travel this way are also at greater risk of an accident. Parents should make sure their children are mentally and physically capable of traveling to school by themselves, that they understand traffic laws, and that they know to look out for cars. Riders should wear approved safety helmets and pedestrian travelers should wear brightly colored clothing or reflective safety gear. Children should only be allowed to walk or ride to school in suitable weather conditions and in full daylight so visibility is never a concern.
- Driving - When riding in the car, parents should follow all usual child safety precautions, including using the right car seats. Teens old enough to drive should avoid picking up friends and be encouraged to just go straight to school. Parents should also insist on safety belt use and that teen drivers follow all road safety laws, being especially observant of laws related to school buses and school zones.
Personal injury lawyers who oversee cases involving minor children suggest that avoiding school transportation accidents requires attention from both parents and drivers. Parents must protect their children by educating them and reducing the risks their children face every day. In addition, drivers must be more alert in school zones and anywhere that children may be traveling. Injury claims attorneys agree that better adherence to traffic laws regarding school transportation can reduce accidents and resulting injuries. Safety in residential neighborhoods and within school safety zones can bring about a safer school day and keep our children safe while traveling to school.