Many parents look forward to September when their children go back to school and they can regain a quiet home. However, it can also feel bittersweet because they are going to miss them. If your children will be walking to school this fall, there are some things you can do to educate and prepare them so they make it home safe every day. Children can be complacent and unaware of safety hazards. It is every parent’s responsibility to ensure that their children are safe.
Kids are plugged in to their smart phones or other electronic gadgets around the clock. A recent study that tracked 34,000 middle and high school students found that one out of every five high school students, and one out of every eight middle school students, are distracted by technology while walking. Tell your kids that they cannot use their phones while walking to school. Often, cars do not anticipate pedestrians, and, pedestrians need to remain alert at all times. By staring down at a phone or video game while walking, kids are taking a major risk. Not only will being alert help to keep your children safe, but also drivers on the road as well. If a distracted child wanders through a busy intersection without looking up, cars may swerve to avoid them, resulting in car accidents or fatalities. Particularly around schools it is important to stay alert because other child-pedestrians are walking all around the area.
You should also talk to your child in advance about the route they plan to walk to school each day. Ideally, you should walk with them at least once so that you can identify any potential safety hazards first hand, and point them out to your child, possibly choosing a safer alternative if necessary. If the shortest route from home to school involves lots of dangerous intersections, it may be better to take a safer route, even if that means a longer “commute” for your child. Tell your children not to deviate from the pre-selected route.
All kids should have a walking buddy or a group of friends that they can walk to school with. Not only will walking with others make them more visible to traffic, but it can also prevent other dangerous situations.
Remind your children of these tips regularly throughout the school year. Make sure that they continue to use the route you agreed upon with them at the start of the school year. Moreover, children under the age of 10 should never be allowed to cross the street on their own without the help of an adult.
New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Represent Victims of Pedestrian AccidentsFrom offices in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, our legal team advises and represents clients in all types of personal injury matters throughout New Jersey, including pedestrian accidents, bus accidents, and injuries to children. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced accident lawyer in New Jersey at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP, call us today at 732-777-0100 or contact us online.