Parents and young children alike are excited about the challenges of school starting. However, it is important to include safety during this time of planning. For parents, safety is a never-ending process. As a careful parent, you must pay attention to the clothes your child is wearing; whether the backpack straps fit properly; whether your carpool partner is as good a driver as you. There are dangers on the playground, in the classroom, and in the cafeteria.
If you address the common and most dangerous places – in the car, on the bus, and on foot – you have taken a big step toward safety. Sadly, bus accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents, even serious ones, are not uncommon in the Media and West Chester areas where we practice. The following are some tips for keeping children safe at the start of – and throughout the school year.
Staying Safe at the Bus Stop
Accompany small children. Parents or responsible adults should wait at the stop with small children. If your child becomes too excited, remind them that boarding the bus is serious business. It is better to be five minutes early than to arrive just as the bus is pulling away.
Children must be visible to the driver. Little ones standing beside the bus can be difficult to see. If you stand in plain sight of the driver, he or she can see you. Stand too close to the bus and you might as well be invisible.
Take care when boarding and deboarding. This is when many accidents occur. Children must wait for the bus to come to a complete stop, and for the door to fully open before approaching. Steps can be high for a little one. Remind children to take their time to prevent falling.
Mind the rules of the bus. Drivers need to pay attention to the road. Stress to children that they must never distract the driver from this important task. Be kind and polite. Drivers need your and your children’s cooperation to do their jobs.
Driving to School Has Many Perils
Stay alert. Be watchful of children crossing the street.
Obey laws. Obey signs. Never drive around a stopped bus. Even if you are running late, do not speed.
Avoid distractions. Texting and cellphone use behind the wheel is a major contributor to deadly accidents. Always pull over to make your calls or send a text. Be aware of all the distractions your car offers — radio, coffee, blowing your child’s nose. Keep these distractions to a minimum.
Look out for bicycles. They are not as noticeable as cars, but they are there, and they have the same right to the road as you.
Mind school zones. Remember that speed limits are sharply reduced. There may be children on all sides of the car. Be aware of them as if they were your own.
Park safely. It is best to park on the same side of the street as your school. Do not double park, even for a minute. Double parking creates problems for others, blocking visibility and egress.
Try carpooling. If possible, consider carpooling with another parent. It will reduce the number of vehicles competing at the curb and can save you time and gas.
Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Represent Injured Accident Victims
If your child has been injured, the Media car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. will examine your injury case at no charge and advise you on your legal options. With offices located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, our attorneys work with clients across Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and throughout the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Call 610-565-3701 today to schedule your appointment or contact us online.