Just about every weekday for nine months, children head to and from school. Since they spend so much time getting to and from the classroom, Direct Auto wants to be sure you and your kids stay safe. The National Safety Council shares helpful tips for getting to school and back home safely. Here are some of the highlights and some other helpful pointers to include in your back-to-school safety checklist, whether your kids walk, ride the bus, bike, or carpool with you.
Commuting to School
- Take a trial run of the route to school, including the bus stop, taking note of any areas where there aren’t many people around like vacant parking lots, construction areas, and parks. Show your kids the safest route ahead of time.
- Always walk on a sidewalk whenever possible. If you must walk on a street, walk facing traffic.
- Make sure your kids know traffic signals. Teach them to always look both ways, make eye contact with drivers before crossing, and when it’s safe to cross the street.
- Implement the buddy system. If you can’t walk with your child, instruct them to walk with friends or older siblings.
- Teach them about stranger danger. Not only should you tell them to avoid talking and going up to strangers, but tell them to tell an adult if they see anyone suspicious.
- Ensure your kids know your home address, office address, phone number, and other contact information in case they need to reach you.
- Don’t forget that helmet! Be sure your child not only owns one, but wears it when leaving for school. Show them how to put it on properly so that it is secure.
- Teach kids to ride with traffic, on the right side of the road, and in a single file line. Let them know they should always come to a complete stop before crossing the street before walking their bike across the street.
Riding the Bus
- Make sure your children arrive to the bus stop early with plenty of time to spare.
- Familiarize your child with how to get on and off the bus safely. They should stand at least six feet away from the curb, and if they have to cross the street to get on the bus, make sure they walk well in front of the bus before crossing. Bus passengers and bus drivers should always be able to see each other while boarding and exiting. Never walk behind the bus.
- If there are seatbelts on the bus, tell your kids to buckle up.
- To be aware of any bullying, know who your kids sit next to on the bus. Tell them they can talk to you, the bus driver, or another adult they trust.
- Keep in mind that although other cars on the road are required to stop when they see a school bus at a stop, many times drivers ignore this law. Let your kids know they should still keep their eye out for other cars when getting on and off the bus
- If you’re driving your kids to school, be aware of the students getting on and off the school buses.
- Slow down when driving near buses. Children could be nearby and not visible.
- If you see the flashing stop sign of a bus, come to a complete stop, a requirement by all states.
- Follow all posted speed limit signs.
Educating yourself and your kids is one of the best ways to keep everyone safe during school. And if you’re going to be driving your kids to school, you need to make sure you have the right auto insurance. Direct Auto can help protect your morning commute with affordable coverage and discounts. For more information, visit www.directauto.com or call us at 1-877-463-4732.