Back to School Tips
Walking to School
- Look both ways before crossing the street!
- Cross at crosswalks. Crosswalks are placed in areas that are generally safer to cross the street.
- Walk the route to school with your child to assure the route is safe. Teach your child to avoid hazards.
- Walk with a group, preferably with adults.
- Consider a "walking school bus." An adult begins the route by picking up the first child, then stops at each home to "pick up" other children. All walk to school together under the adult's supervision. Parents may trade this responsibility so it is not a burden on any one parent.
- Make sure children know the way to school. New neighborhoods, new construction, or even changing landmarks may confuse younger children.
- Wear bright clothing and have a brightly colored backpack. Reflective clothing, shoes, and stickers will increase visibility at dusk and dawn.
- Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they are stopping for you before crossing in front of vehicles. Vehicles sometimes stop for reasons other than pedestrians, though it may look like the vehicle is stopping for the child.
Riding a Bike to School
- Always wear a helmet!
- Always ride with traffic. Though it seems to make sense to ride facing vehicle traffic, it makes it harder for drivers to see the bicyclist at intersections and exiting driveways.
- Stop at red lights and stop signs. Bicyclists must follow all laws vehicles must follow.
- Walk bikes across intersections and crosswalks.
- Slow down around schools! Every school morning and afternoon brings a chaotic mix of kids walking, biking, and climbing into and out of vehicles to attend school. Be patient and increase your vigilance.
- Eliminate distractions! Driving is hard and requires total attention. Eating, talking on the phone, responding to passengers in your vehicle, and any other types of distractions divides your attention and creates an opportunity for you to have an accident. Focus on driving!
- Follow the rules of the road! Traffic violations increase your chances of getting into an accident.
- No passing stopped school buses! Not only is this a law, but it is a huge risk to children going to or getting off of the bus.
- If something goes wrong, focus on driving the car to a safe location. That something may be a spill, a child who has gotten out of a car seat or a seat belt, a bee that has gotten into the car, etc. Many crashes occur while the driver tries to solve a seemingly emergency situation before parking the car in a safe location. Drive to a safe location, then deal with the issue.
- Always set a good example for your children! They watch every move you make. Let them learn the right things from you.