The sidewalks will soon be filled with eager little feet as school starts next week. School buses will be transporting budding young minds, parents will be dropping off their precious little ones, and scores of kids on their bikes will take up room on the roads and sidewalks. All this means we’re back to slower traffic and more of it.
Here are some tips to help you avoid injuries and accidents for drivers, parents and children.
Tips for Drivers
- Familiarize yourself with all the school zones on your commute to work.
- Slow down when you are in school zones as younger children don’t have the experience with traffic that adults do.
- Children can be unpredictable so be prepared to stop.
- Making eye contact with pedestrians is a good way to ensure you both are aware of the other’s presence.
- Take note of crossing guards and follow their directions.
- For crosswalks with lights motorists must allow children to cross fully to the other side before proceeding.
- Obey all school bus flashing signals and come to a complete stop, well away from the bus, to allow you to be able to see all children loading or unloading.
- Be sure to share the road with cyclists, keeping a minimum of a one metre buffer zone between your car and the cyclist.
Related read: New Rules for the Same Old Roads
Tips for Children and Parents
- Where you can, always use sidewalks.
- Cross at intersections or crosswalks where they are available.
- Before you step onto a road stop and look in every direction. Do not run onto the road.
- Always be vigilant when crossing streets. Do not assume drivers have seen, or can see, you.
- Have reflective material on your back-backs and bike helmets. This helps drivers see children on foggy or rainy days.
With busier roads starting next week drivers should plan to leave a little earlier than their summer commutes allowed. Giving yourself extra time means you can react where necessary to the little ones going to school and not feel rushed to get to work on time.
One final tip for both drivers and pedestrians, distracted driving or walking means you’re not paying attention to your surroundings. The issue: people using their cellphones rather than watching where they were going are far more likely to get injured in an accident.
Related Read: When Driving Thousands of Pounds of Steel, Focus on the Road
Parents, have a talk with your teenagers about distracted walking. As the video below proves, teenagers don't always think about safety first.
Do you have any tips or safety suggestions? Please share them below.
Thanks for reading and have a safe and fun school year.