Back to School Safety Tips
Summer is starting to wind down, and children across the Bluegrass State are headed back to school. This means kids walking or bicycling to school, parents driving to sports or other activities, and newly licensed teenagers on the road. Unfortunately, that also means more car, pedestrian, and bicycle accidents in Kentucky. This article is a list of back to schools safety tips to help keep everyone a little safer.
Tweens and teens account for the largest number of pedestrian deaths because they are more likely to be distracted while walking. They often look down at their phones and text while walking and therefore do not pay attention. In addition, more and more children are using headphones or earbuds, which is distracting and limits their ability to hear oncoming traffic.
A Safe Kids Worldwide observational study showed that in addition to distracted walking, teens and tweens are more likely to engage in unsafe behaviors while crossing the street, including:
- Not crossing at a corner or designated crosswalk
- Failing to look both ways before crossing the street
- Ignoring traffic signals indicating that they should not cross
School Bus Safety Rules
According to the NHTSA’s data, school buses are safer than cars. The NHTSA estimates that children are 70 times more likely to arrive at school safely if they travel on a school bus. Accidents still happen involving school buses, and often because motorists don’t follow the law when they encounter a school bus. Every state in the United States prohibits passing a stopped school bus. Despite this, estimates show that motorists illegally pass school buses 15 million times yearly.
Kentucky drivers should be familiar with the law when in a school zone and when encountering a school bus.
Often school buses indicate that they are preparing to stop first by putting on their flashing yellow lights. That indicates to nearby drivers that they should slow down and be prepared to stop, not that they should speed up and try to get past the bus before the red lights or extended stop sign or arm come out.
School buses are large vehicles, and it is not always easy for the driver to see children; therefore, in addition to cars having to follow the above rules of the road, children and their parents should take certain steps to avoid being hit by a bus or a car. These include:
- Looking carefully before getting off the bus and crossing the road.
- If a child has to cross the road, they should always cross in front of the bus. Often the bus driver will signal to the child that it is safe to cross.
- If a parent is waiting at the bus stop, they should wait on the side of the road where the child gets off the bus, not make the child cross the road.
- Stand on the sidewalk while waiting for the bus. This ensures that both the bus and other drivers see the child.
- Watch the driver. If a child must cross a street to get on the bus, he/she should wait for the driver to signal that it is okay for him/her to cross the road.
Drivers who fail to follow school bus safety rules and injure or kill someone could find themselves subject to a personal injury or wrongful death suit.
Why use a Louisville Kentucky personal injury Law Firm?
Pedestrian and car accidents happen frequently. The Kentucky-based personal injury lawyers at Hessig and Pohl are experienced attorneys who can help you understand your rights. They can also advise on whether you have damages and should proceed with a claim. Please contact our office to set up a no-fee, no-obligation case evaluation at (502)777-1111.