Back to School Safety 2012

Although it seems we just posted a blog concerning July Fourth holiday safety, the end of summer and the beginning of the school year will soon be upon us.  The roads, already congested by construction, will soon be filled with school buses, students, and parents on the way to school. 

With this in mind, consider the following:

  • Each year, approximately 800 school-age children are killed in motor vehicle crashes during the normal school travel hours (weekday mornings and afternoons during school months). 
  • Roughly 2% of the 800 children killed are school bus related while 74% occur in private passenger vehicles and 22% are the result of pedestrian or bicycle accidents.  

What can we do to protect our families?  Start with a good plan:

  1. Know your route – Be aware of any planned or current construction along your way.  Using web resources such as Trafficinfo, or a local city website can help identify areas where delays are likely.
  2. Leave early – Be sure to leave enough time to account for any known construction delays or school bus stops along the way.  Usually 30 minutes is enough, but more may be necessary depending on where you live. 
  3. Stay visible – Stop far enough back for the bus drivers to see you in their mirrors and use your hazards when stopped for a bus, giving notice to any drivers behind you.
  4. Avoid distraction – It’s not the phone, it’s the conversation.  Refrain from using cell phones while driving.  The same goes for other activities that distract the driver, such as changing CDs, looking at notes and reading maps.

The following sites provide additional tips and strategies for avoiding tragedy on you morning commute this fall: