Back to School Safety Tips for Parents and Students
It’s almost that time of the year! A new school year is quickly approaching, and as you and your family gather school supplies, it’s also a great time to have a talk about road safety. Whether you drive to your child’s school or have them take a bus, walk, or bike ride, everyone must take certain precautions to avoid an accident and injury. Roads get even more dangerous during the school year, so brush up on these back to school safety tips and do your part to keep the streets safe.
Know the Rules of the Road
If your child walks or bikes to school, they must be aware of the rules of the road. Students who walk to school must follow pedestrian safety practices, like obeying signs and signals and walking on the sidewalk when available. If there is no sidewalk, students should walk facing traffic. When crossing at crosswalks or intersections, look in all directions before crossing. Bicyclists must also respect street signs and signals, and all students under the age of 18 must wear a helmet. Ride in the same direction of traffic and on the right side of the road.
Observe School Zone Speeds
Driving in a school zone requires careful attention, especially when children are present. Drivers must slow down their speed to 25 mph when driving within 500 feet of a school while children are outside or crossing the street. Some school zones have speed limits as low as 15 mph. Drivers should be aware of children darting into the street, as well as bicyclists, pedestrians, crossing guards, and stopped buses.
Obey the Crossing Guard
A constant flow of traffic and students makes crosswalks especially dangerous. Always advise your child to cross at a designated crosswalk, and never in the middle of the street. When they cross, they should look both ways and make eye contact with the driver. Tell your child they must obey the crossing guard and they should never run through a crosswalk. Remind them not to enter streets through parked cars, signs, bushes, or any other obstacles.
Stop for School Buses
Transporting millions of students, school buses provide a safe and affordable mode of transportation. In a school zone, you are likely to encounter one or more buses, and it is important to know what to do when you see one. If the school bus is stopped and is flashing red lights, you must stop in either direction until children are safely across the street and the lights stop flashing. If you see flashing yellow lights, it means the bus is going to stop and you must slow down.
Make sure children wait at least 10 feet away from the school bus and do not board until it reaches a complete stop. Wait for the bus driver to give the okay to board the bus. A bus stop is not for playing, so encourage your child to wait calmly. Additionally, your child should never walk behind a school bus or directly in front of a bus, as this is the driver’s blind spot.
Walk or Bike With Friends
Do you know the saying “there’s safety in numbers”? This can apply to your child getting to and from school. It’s always better to walk or bike with a friend, neighbor, or in a group instead of going alone. As a parent, you should determine the safest route to and from school. Santa Ana residents can follow these safe routes.
Distractions, such as cell phone use, are one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in the U.S. Drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists are all susceptible to common distractions that take their eyes, hands, and mind off the road. All it takes is a few seconds of inattention to cause an accident. Talk to your child about cell phone or headphone use while getting to school and the importance of staying alert at all times.
Dangerous Intersections in Santa Ana
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, Santa Ana is among the top five cities with the highest rates of pedestrian and bicycle accidents involving children under 15 years old. Many of these accidents happen at or near school zones, where a lack of crossing guards or designated bike lanes increase the likelihood of a collision. They are also frequent in busy intersections where cars, bicycles, motorcycles, and more commute on a daily basis. Below are some of the busiest streets and intersections where students should exercise caution.
- 17th St. and Fairview St.
- Edinger Ave. and S. Orange Ave.
- Bristol St. and McFadden Ave.
- E. First St. and Elk Lane
- 4th St. and I-5
Trusted Personal Injury Law Firm in Orange County
If you or someone you know suffered an injury in a road accident, our experienced personal injury lawyers in Santa Ana can get you the compensation you need. We have several years of experience handling personal injury cases ranging from auto accidents to workers’ compensation. If you were injured due to someone else’s carelessness, you deserve justice and your medical bills, property damage, and other expenses covered. Call us today at (657) 662-8033 to schedule a free consultation with our personal injury team.