Whether kids are walking, riding their bikes, or taking the bus to school, it’s important they take the proper safety precautions to arrive at school safe and sound. Below are a few tips to make sure your child stays safe.

The first step is up to all of us, Put the Phones down and concentrate on driving. Distracted driving accounts for more and more accidents on the roadways. Young kids, unfortunately, aren’t always paying attention to what’s around them, keep your eyes on the road, and scan for potential hazards and we all will get to where we’re going a little easier!

Make sure your child knows your home phone number and address, your cell phone number, and the number of another trusted adult, as well as how to call 911 for emergencies.

Children Walking to and from School

  • Choose a direct round that avoids major intersections and/or utilizes intersections with Crossing Guards present.
  • Make sure they walk on the sidewalk, if available. When no sidewalk is available, walk on the side of the road, going towards traffic.
  • Before crossing the street, stop and look left, right, and left again to see if cars are coming. Make eye contact with drivers at intersections to make sure they see you.
  • Same as for drivers, kids need to avoid distracted walking. Looking at your phone or other device means your head is down and you’re not observing what’s around you. Keep your eyes and ears open for potential hazards.
  • If possible plan to meet up with friends/neighbors and walk in a group.

Children Riding Bikes to and from School

  • Always Wear Your Helmet
  • Use similar precautions as walking. Use intersections with Crossing Guards when available. Always come to a complete stop at intersections, make eye contact with drivers to know they see you, walk your bike across the street.
  • Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, and in a single file line with other riders.
  • Wear brightly colored clothing or reflective materials, especially if it’s early in the morning.
  • Make sure your child knows and uses the proper hand signals to properly alert drivers and other riders of their intentions.

Children Riding the Bus to and from School

  • Go to the bus stop with your child and teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus. Introduce them to the bus driver so they are comfortable talking to the driver and asking questions if they need help.
  • Teach your child to stand a safe distance away from the curb.
  • If your child must cross the street in front of the bus upon entering or exiting the bus, teach them to walk on the side of the road until they are about 10 feet in front of the bus. Your child too should be able to see the driver, and then the driver can see the child. Also, make sure before crossing into a traffic lane they look both ways.
  • When driving, make sure YOU stop for all stopped buses with Flashing Lights, not only is it safe, IT’S THE LAW!
  • Remind your children to remain seated on the bus until it comes to a complete stop. Buses are moving vehicles and sometimes have to make sudden stops or swerve

Driving and Picking Up Your Children to School

  • Avoid Distracted Driving. Put the phone down. Keep your eyes out for children who may unexpectedly dart out into the road.
  • Obey school zone speed limits and follow your school’s drop-off procedure.
  • Make eye contact with children who are waiting at intersections and/or crossing the street.
  • Don’t pass stopped school buses with their lights flashing.
  • Keep a safe distance from children riding their bikes in the street. Inexperienced riders may unexpectedly swerve or fall off their bike.

Teens Driving to and from School

Did you know: every day, 6 teens are killed in a motor vehicle crash in the U.S. In fact, crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, ahead of all other types of injury, violence, or disease. (from Safekids.org )

  • Be a good role model for your teen driver. Your kids grow up watching you drive. Exhibit good driving habits and your kids are more likely to pick them up and follow your example.
  • Buckle up on every ride, every time; front seat and back. Make buckling up a habit for you and especially your children from a young age. More than half of teens killed in crashes weren’t wearing their seat belt.
  • Set clear expectations about your family rules on teen driving. Make a formal agreement with your teen to follow the rules. Define your zero-tolerance rules for driving, addressing speed, passengers, texting, and even alcohol.
  • Limit the number of passengers that are allowed in the car with your teen. The risk for fatal crash increases as the number of passengers increases. Every driver is different to set your rules based on your own assessment of your teen and their driving ability.
  • Teach your child to speak up if they feel unsafe riding with another driver. If you’re a passenger of a vehicle and that driver isn’t paying attention to the road or exhibiting poor driving, make sure they feel safe speaking up and are reporting that to you. If the driver argues or continues with unsafe driving habits, find alternative transportation to school and events.