PORTLAND, OR, October 03, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Back to school time is a mixed blessing for all parents. On the one hand, it was such a special summer and the bonding that takes place during the warm season forges memories that will last a lifetime. On the other, it's time to get back into our routines, which are so helpful to childhood development and learning. Sometimes the parents are just ready for a break.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but back to school means back to the dangers that persist out in the real world. There are all sorts of safety issues at even the safest, most well maintained schools. The trek to and from school can present dangers just by virtue of being on the roadway. A recent online guide published by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration got me thinking.
By far most kids still commute to and from school by bus. It's still the safest mode of transport for our little ones. But, there are ways that we can enhance the safety of even this safest mode. First, your children should be taught to report to you any sign of distracted driving (especially text messaging and driving) by their bus driver. Second, when entering or exiting the bus, your children should be particularly careful in the danger zones - 10 feet in front and 10 feet behind the bus. This is where blind spots occur and dangerous or reckless drivers cause accidents.
Some kids live in neighborhoods where they are lucky enough to walk or bike to school. This experience, while undoubtedly Rockwellian, raises its own set of issues. One-fifth of all children ages 5-9 who died in motor vehicle related accidents, according to the NHTSA, were the victim of pedestrian accidents
. Use the resources available to you to understand the walkability score of your neighborhood, which typically includes a measure of walking safety. Spend time with your kids to teach them how to stop and look both ways (and then look again) before crossing.
If your kids ride their bicycles to school, you need to take time on bike safety too. Nearly 20% of all bicycle accidents involve children under 14 years of age. Take the time to map out the route. Look for bike lanes and wide shoulders. Helmets are mandatory, and understanding the rules of the road for bicyclists is a prerequisite to earning the privilege of riding to school.
Of course many parents drive their children to school. Morning and afternoon pickup driving can be distracting, it can be hurried and it can be dangerous. Too often the result is a car accident
with your child in the car--every parent's nightmare. Learn about car safety, child restraints and don't ever drive distracted.
Back to school is an exciting time. Take the time and the precautions to make sure it's a safe time.
Sarah Nelson is a Portland, Oregon car accident lawyer
Attorney Sarah Nelson's mission in every case is to provide the highest quality of representation to her personal injury clients. Inside the courtroom and out, Sarah strives to maximize her clients' recovery with minimal hassle and minimal intrusion into their daily lives.