The new school year is already here. When school starts, there is more traffic on the roads including school buses as well as students travelling to school on foot and on bicycles. It can be easy for car accidents and bus accidents to occur. Whether your child walks to school, rides a bicycle, or rides the bus, as a parent, you should take time to discuss back to school safety with your child.

Practice the Route to School

One of the best ways to prevent an accident is to avoid any chance of confusion during your child’s morning commute. This is true whether the student walks to school or to a bus stop. Practice the routine with your child a few times. Emphasize the importance of looking before crossing streets,  using crosswalks when available and following the crossing guard’s instructions, if there is a crossing guard.

Everything is Safer in a Group

There is some truth to the saying that safety exists in numbers. If there are other children in your neighborhood who attend your child’s school, try to coordinate the routines for students getting to and from school with other parents. This will benefit all the children because they can look out for one another during the commute and notify adults if anything goes wrong.

Safety Tips for Bus Riders

If your child gets to school on a bus, talk to him or her about bus safety. The National Safety Council offers the following school bus safety tips:

  • If the bus has seat belts, wear one;
  • Do not stand while the bus is in motion;
  • Keep hands, arms, and your head inside the bus;
  • Do not distract the bus driver;
  • Wait for the bus to come to a full stop and its door to open before stepping off the sidewalk to enter;
  • Know the blind spots around a bus and stay out of the danger zones; and
  • Enter and exit the bus in a single file.

For Bicyclists and Pedestrians, Courtesy and Safety Go Hand-in-Hand

Pedestrians and bicyclists often share the sidewalk. Talk to your child about staying to the right on the sidewalk and, if he or she rides a bicycle to school, yielding to pedestrians. When everybody on the sidewalk follows the rules and behaves courteously, pedestrian accidents are less likely to occur.

Bicyclists should walk their bicycles across crosswalks. They should ride at a slow speed on the sidewalk, rather than racing around pedestrians or going so fast that they cannot quickly come to a stop.

Work With an Experienced Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer

Accidents happen. When an accident on the way to or from school leaves your child injured, you can seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. Contact our team of experienced personal injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm today to set up your initial case review with a member of our firm. Our team is very involved in the local community and makes it a priority to provide every client with friendly, personalized treatment.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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