What three words do kids fear and parents cheer? You got it – BACK TO SCHOOL! Yes, the summer fun in the sun is quickly winding down and the kids will be heading back to school soon. It is also time to remind drivers to slow down and pay close attention to kids walking, biking and riding the bus to school. We need to be especially alert to school-age pedestrians that might be distracted by electronic devices.

A study done by SafeKids.org in 2012 indicated 61 children are hit by cars every day in the United States. In recent years the age group of those most frequently hit by cars has changed from younger kids to teenagers between the ages of 15 to 19. Why the change?  TEXTING!

Check out this short video clip to hear it directly from teenagers:

Remember, every hour a teen is killed or injured while walking. Drivers should pay special attention to school-age pedestrians, especially one hour before and after school when most accidents occur.

The National Safety Council recommends that parents remind their children of the following safety tips:

  • Never walk while texting or talking on the phone
  • If texting, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk
  • Never cross the street while using an electronic device
  • Do not walk with headphones on
  • Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available
  • If a child must walk on the street, he or she should face oncoming traffic
  • Look left, right, then left again before crossing the street
  • Cross only at crosswalks

For additional safety tips to share with your children, check out the Back to School safety tips from the National Safety Council or consider taking a refresher driving course. These tips include bus safety, back pack safety, dealing with bullying and much more.

For all of us drivers out there, SLOW DOWN, put away your driving distractions and share the road with our young children. Let’s make sure they get to and from school safely.

-Paul Fuerbringer