BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEEP! You know that sound. Your alarm is calling you to wake-up early and stumble out of bed to get you or your kids ready for a day of soaking up the knowledge of a new school year, instead of a day soaking up the sun…sigh. It’s not only your alarm that’s making that noise, however, but also the traffic from all the cars and school buses making their morning commute this time of year. With school back in session, it’s important to be vigilant whether your sending your kids off to school on the school bus or driving them yourself.
According to the National Crime Prevention Council, kids spend more time in the classroom during the year than anywhere else, making it even more important parents take the time to prepare their kids on what to expect when heading out the door to school. Direct Auto Insurance wants to be sure you and your kids are safe on the road traveling to and from school.
Post this to your fridge. The NCPC and the National Safety Council recommends following this safety checklist:
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.
- Make sure your kids know the traffics signals. Walk with them so they understand when and how to cross the street.
- Implement the buddy system. Encourage them to walk with a friend, sibling or to wait at the bus stop with the other children.
- 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.
- Do your kids know your home address, phone number, work phone number and address? Knowing how to reach you is a life lesson that could protect them if they need help.
- 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. 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
- Tell your kids to be five minutes early before the scheduled pick up time and that they should wait on the sidewalk or in the grass.
- Familiarize your child with how to get on and off the bus safely.
- Kids should stand six feet away from the curb at the bus stop.
- Make sure you always see the bus driver and they see you. They should 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, may times drivers ignore this law. Let your kids know they should still keep their eye out for other cars.
- 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 the speed limits posted near school buses and schools.
Educating yourself and your kids about how to prepare for your commute is one of the best ways to ensure their safety during a school season. Following these simple alerts will help start the school year safely. 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.