August is Back to School Safety Month, a reminder to motorists that the school year is about to begin and to be vigilant when driving.
Many school and bus routes are improperly designed and pose a serious hazard for children due to the lack of sidewalks or crosswalks, wide roads, and speeding drivers. Especially in the rural areas.
Everyone is a pedestrian at some point, whether traveling by foot, bicycle, wheelchair, stroller, or similar means. As pedestrians, we’re at constant risk of being injured or killed from traffic crashes. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. are on the rise.
When driving, whether taking your kids to school or driving near a school or bus stop, be on the lookout for children loading and unloading the bus or walking and riding to and from school.
- Slow down, follow the speed limit and be alert, especially in the residential neighborhoods and school zones.
- Look for pedestrians everywhere. Pedestrians may not be walking where they should be or may be hard to see— especially at night, in poorly lit conditions, including dusk/ dawn/night and in poor weather
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk – There may be people crossing that you can’t see
- Watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours
- Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings
- Put down your phone and don't talk or text while driving!
- Always cross the street with an adult, at least up until age 10, when traffic skills and judgment are better
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks whenever possible
- Never run out into the street or cross in between parked cars
- Wear reflective material or clothing and carry a flashlight to increase your visibility at night
- Always walk in front of the bus, at least 10 feet, where the driver can see you
- If waiting for a parent, wait on the same side of the street as the school bus loads and unloads
- Do not play in driveways, streets, parking lots, and unfenced yards next to busy or high-traffic streets.