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For many families, the end of the summer heralds the start of the new school year. Preparation for back-to-school usually includes buying school clothes and materials to help your child succeed, but that might not be enough. Your back-to-school preparations also should include a focus on safety. Your school-age child or children should be well-versed in safely going to and from school. Some basic training could help your child to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
Adults also should prepare themselves for the resumption of classes by reviewing basic safety concepts that help to ensure schoolchildren stay as safe as possible while at bus stops or otherwise traveling to and from school.
Whether or not you have school children, you need to pay close attention to the start of school and how it might affect your driving during weekdays.
If you work, your trip to and from work might coincide with the pickup and drop-off schedule for a local school bus route. Maybe you have a school located near where you live that ties up local roads in the morning and again in the afternoon.
Learning if there are any bus routes near your home and when the bus usually makes its rounds can help you to avoid the bus traffic or getting caught behind one that makes frequent stops.
You also might drive through a school zone on your way to and from work or while running errands. You should know where those school zones are located and when they typically are in force so that you can slow down and not get a ticket or run into a child.
You might be among the many parents who drop off and pick up their children each school day. Maybe you and one or two other neighbors use carpooling to get your children to and from school.
Whenever you are dropping off or picking up school kids, it is important to make it as safe as possible for them. Once they are outside of the vehicle, they are on their own – unless you accompany them to the school entrance.
You should do your best to drop children off and pick them up on the same side of the road as the school is located. That eliminates the need to cross a road when traffic might be at peak levels.
You also should be aware of any crosswalks that commonly are used and manned by a school crossing guard. Knowing where they might be located and when they are in heavy use will help you to either choose another route or be more aware and ready to stop to ensure the school children and crossing guard are safe.
Pay attention to school buses, and come to a complete stop when a bus has its flashers on at a bus stop. Whenever the red flashers are on, traffic in all directions must stop until the driver turns off the flashers.
If you have children who ride the bus to and from school, your children should know they need to exit when the bus is at a complete stop. Crossing the road only should happen when the bus driver tells the passengers that it is safe to do so.
If you are the parent of a child who rides the bus, go over the safety rules. You should make sure they understand why it is important to pay attention to the bus driver and the traffic to make it as safe as possible.
A bicycle can be a very liberating form of transportation for a child. It also might be an ideal way for your child to go to and from school when the weather allows it. If you have a child who rides a bike to school, you should make sure it is in good shape and that the brakes work properly. You should equip your child with a bicycle helmet to help prevent head injuries if your child should go down for any reason while riding. The bike should have a lock to protect against theft.
You should make sure your child knows how to ride the bike safely. If you have a bicycle, you might accompany your child to school once or twice to ensure they know how to safely negotiate any intersections or other potentially dangerous conditions.
Just like bicycle safety, you need to ensure your children are safe pedestrians. As a driver, you need to do your best to look out for pedestrians, including those on bicycles, skateboards, and scooters.
If school is within walking distance, your children might need walk to and from school each day. Ensure that your children have the appropriate clothing to walk outdoors, that they know the route, and that they know to use any designated school crossings that are manned by school crossing guards.
You also should emphasize the importance of not getting into cars with strangers.
You might have children who use school playgrounds during recess, participate in sports, or are engaged in other extracurricular school activities. If so, you should do your best to make sure they have any safety equipment that might be needed.
The school staff and any coaches should teach how to do particular activities safely so that your children can enjoy the experience, have fun, and learn the special lessons that go with respective extracurricular activities. School staff and coaches also should oversee the activities and ensure they are done safely.
You should try to make sure the experience is fun for your child. If your child is not having fun, then there is no point in continuing the activity. Doing so only might increase the odds of an accident happening because your child might lose focus.
If your child suffered an injury caused by a negligent driver or another party, the Wilmington personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help to hold that person accountable. You can contact us online or call 302-427-9500 to schedule a free consultation at our law office in Wilmington, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we service clients throughout the state.