By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
The school year brings with it a need for parents, children, and drivers to exercise good caution and driving for the safety and well being of school aged children. The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and other child safety advocates urge parents and drivers to keep kids safe when they walk to school or are at bus stops. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that over 25,000 children are injured every year as pedestrians. The injuries range from minor personal injuries to traumatic brain injuries to death. Here are some safety tips for children, parents, day care center providers, schools, and others:
1. Prior to traveling the route as a pedestrian or bicyclists, parents should first make sure that the child is familiar with the route;
2. Parents should walk or ride the route themselves to make sure that it is safe and that the parents are familiar with any potential hazards along the way;
3. Parents should take the time to talk to the child about safety while walking or riding a bicycle to school;
4. When possible, routes should be selected based on safety, traffic, and the presence of crossing guards, crosswalks, and traffic signals; and
5. Whenever available, sidewalks should be utilized.
For drivers, it is important for all drivers to slow down in school zones, playground zones, residential areas, and any other place or location where children walk or ride their bicycles, skateboards, and scooters. Drivers should do their best to eliminate or reduce driver distraction and keep their mind and eyes on the task at hand – driving safely on roadways, near schools, and near bus stops.
For more information on this topic, see Parents and Drivers Must Do Their Part to Make Safety a Priority for Children Walking or Riding Bicycles to School.