Abingdon, Bristol and Johnson City
Getting our children to school safely and on time is often a concern for many parents. While we can almost always control our kids being on time, getting them to school safely is another concern. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, “By any measure, school buses are the safest way for children to travel to and from school.” However, some parents cannot, or chose not, to use the school bus systems.
For parents of students that walk to school, there is always the fear that our walking students will not be safe. There is solid evidence to legitimize these fears. Unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth leading cause of injury-related deaths in the United States for children ages 5 to 19. What can we do to help protect our children as they walk to school? The Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., have provided some tips to help you better protect your walking students as they go to school.
Tips for Parents of Students that Walk to School
There are several measures you can take to help prepare your student to walk to school safely. Here are a few tips to consider:
- Consider whether your child has the skills necessary to walk safely to school. Can they stay alert to the dangers of traffic? Can they stay focused on getting to school without getting distracted and delayed?
- Walk the route yourself before taking your child along. Be sure that the route she will take offers good visibility, is relatively free of hazards, has plenty of pedestrian room at a safe distance from traffic, and involves no dangerous crossings.
- Walk the route with your child before sending your child alone. If the route is difficult to remember, or if the child is very young, you may want to walk the route several times together before the child has to walk alone. Do this before the first day of school, or plan on meeting your child for the first few days of school.
- Make sure there are well-trained crossing guards at every intersection your child must cross.
- Consider available daylight when your child will be walking. Regardless of visibility, be sure your child is wearing brightly colored clothing.
- If extremely hot or cold weather or bad weather conditions are a concern, have a backup transportation plan. For hot days, pack a water bottle for your child to take with them. For cold days, make sure they are wearing warm clothing.
- See if there are other neighborhood children your child can walk with. There is safety in numbers.
- Teach kids to put phones, headphones, and other devices away. This is especially important for teenagers. If kids need to use their phones, teach them to stop walking while they talk or text.
One fact adds some urgency to that need: 815 students die annually, and 152,250 are injured during regular travel between school and home. If your child, or someone for whom you care, has been injured walking to or from school, contact the authorities, and then contact your personal injury attorney in Bristol by calling (276) 451-2056 to schedule a free consultation.
Personal Injury Attorney in Tri Cities
The Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., are proud to serve clients in Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City, TN, as well as Bristol, VA.