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Keeping Children Safe While Traveling to and from School

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San Jose child injury lawyersWith all the children back in school and the holidays fast approaching, parents may be wondering how they can best ensure their family’s safety. Unfortunately, the commute that children make to and from school is often overlooked. When one considers the influx of traffic from holiday shoppers and everyone else’s school or work commute, it is easy to see why this might be a mistake. Learn more about keeping your child safe while they travel each day, and discover what an experienced personal injury lawyer can do to help with your claim, should someone you know experience a child injury

Walking and Bicycling

Children who walk or bike to school are often the most susceptible to injury. Sadly, their risk increases even further if they must cross an intersection. As such, parents are discouraged from letting children under the age of 12 ride their bike or walk to school alone. Those over the age of 12 who do want to bike or walk may do so, but parents may want to put certain rules in place. Safety experts encourage (at minimum) the following:

  • Helmets should always be worn while riding a bicycle;
  • Plan a route with your child that includes the fewest possible intersections;
  • Limit distractions (including phones and devices) while walking or biking;
  • If an intersection must be crossed, do so only at the crosswalk;
  • If no designated crosswalk exists, review safe street crossing practices; and
  • Stay alert because drivers may not see you.

While Riding on the Bus

Although school bus accidents are far less common than auto accidents, children should still be taught the importance of safety while on the bus. Much of this is preventative, as it helps ensure that the driver can focus on the road, and not on the behavior of passengers. However, there are also tips that can reduce the overall risk of injury while getting on and off the school bus, and while waiting. These safety tips include:

  • Using quiet voices while on the bus;
  • Keeping hands, feet, and other objects to self;
  • Staying seated when the bus is in motion;
  • Using handrails while boarding and exiting the bus;
  • Crossing only in front of the bus, never behind;
  • Ensuring the child can see the driver when crossing in front of the bus;
  • Waiting calmly for the bus at least three giant steps from the curb; and
  • Supervise young children.

As the Passenger of a Vehicle 

Some parents work out a carpool option, or they have family members or friends who take their child to and from school. In these situations, children should follow basic car safety rules (including the use of a booster seat, if needed). Children should also be taught not to distract the driver, as this presents a safety risk. Lastly, parents should only allow their child to ride with persons they trust to follow the rules of the road (like not using a cell phone while driving).

Teen Drivers and Commuter Safety

Parents may want to wait until their child has some driving practice under their belt before allowing them to drive themselves to and from school. However, older driving teens may be safe to drive themselves, provided they have shown themselves to be responsible. Teen carpools are discouraged, as this can be one of the most dangerous situations for teen drivers. Teen passengers (and even younger passengers, such as siblings) can distract one another with music or conversation, and some passengers may even encourage risky behavior. If parents find that their teen is not compliant with the safety rules, parents may wish to revoke privileges.

When Accidents Cause Injury to a Child

At Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP, we understand that, when children are injured, parents suffer, too. They can be burdened with medical bills, and may even miss work to ensure the long-term health and wellness of their child.  Find the compensation and support that you and your family deserve. Contact our San Jose child injury lawyers for assistance with your claim. Call 408-289-1417 today.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/features/safeschools/index.html

https://www.nhtsa.gov/school-buses/school-bus-tips-parents

 

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Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P.

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San Jose, CA 95112

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