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Driving safety concerns as kids head back to school

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2023 | Pedestrian Accidents

The summer is drawing to a close and soon fall will make itself known in earnest. Although there are far fewer weather shifts and other seasonal changes that occur in Southern California than in most other places nationwide, there is one surefire way to know that summer is transitioning to autumn: the area’s children are headed back to school.

Back-to-school season can be a particularly dangerous time of year for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike, as all travelers take a little time to remember how to navigate shifts in road usage successfully. As a result, it is particularly important for motorists to be careful in the mornings and mid-to-late afternoons on school days until all travelers – young and older – get into the rhythm of safe school year travel.

How parents can help their kids stay safer

As critical as it is for motorists to make safe choices as kids return to school, parents can’t count on every motorist in Southern California to be sober, alert, distraction-free and calm while driving. In order to better safeguard children and teens who may be traveling on foot or by bike to school or their bus stop, it’s important to remind them of the following safety tips:

  • Don’t assume that the vehicles around you are being driven by alert drivers. Don’t cross the street until it’s safe, as you can’t count on all drivers to see you and slow down.
  • Stand away from the curb when waiting for a bus. Drivers may swerve and hit you if they’re distracted when approaching and become surprised to see you moving in their peripheral vision.
  • Cross at marked crosswalks whenever possible, and only after it is truly safe to start crossing.
  • Kids who bike to school should be properly outfitted in safety gear and should ride on the right side of the road alongside – not against – traffic flow.

These tips can’t guarantee safe travel during the school year, but they can help mitigate the risk that kids will become hurt due to a driver’s negligence and/or their own.