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Back to School Safety Tips Can Reduce the Risk of Child Injuries in Fort Lauderdale

Families are wrapping up their summer vacations just in time to head back to school. West Palm Beach car accident lawyers know there are several things to consider if you want to keep your child safe as they return to the school grounds for another year of education.

The National Safety Council and leading student bus transportation provider First Student, recently released a list of back to school tips to protect students from having encounters with motorists, as well as, tips for teen driving safety, pedestrian safety, backpack safety, playground safety and bus safety.

In order to reduce the risk of child injuries in Miami, Margate and elsewhere in the state, parents should teach their children about transportation and school safety. Children can be carefree and that, coupled with motorists driving distracted or not fully paying attention, can make roadways and school zones quite dangerous in the upcoming weeks and throughout the school year. Remind your children of the following safety tips as they travel to school by foot, pedal or bus.

-Cross the street only at an intersection or where a crossing guard is located.
-Walk in large groups or with an adult. Children under 11 must have an adult with them to cross the street.
-Walking is better than running when you cross the street. It gives motorists time to see and stop for you and helps you to avoid a fall in the middle of a street.
-Practice riding your bike to gain more experience by riding in an empty parking lot or a side or dead-end street that has no traffic.
-Before crossing the street, wait for a driver’s signal so you know that they see you.
-Wear protective equipment like helmets or elbow pads to reduce the risk of injury in a crash.
-Walking behind a bus is dangerous so always cross in front.
-Refrain from putting your head, arms or hands out of the window on a school bus. Remain seated until the bus comes to a full stop.
-Cross the street 10 feet in front of the bus, but only when the bus driver signals it is ok.

Motorists can do their part by using extra caution around school zones and bus pick-up areas. It is against the law to pass a school bus that is stopped on a roadway so look for flashing yellow lights and prepare to stop. Red flashing lights and a swinging arm stop sign signal alerts motorists that a child is being picked up or dropped off.

Motorists should use extra caution knowing that children are walking or biking to and from school each day. Always yield the right of way to pedestrians in a school zone, slow down to the posted speed limit, and don’t be impatient by revving your engine or honking your horn, which could scare pedestrians or bicyclists and cause an accident.

“The Council is proud to partner with First Student on this back-to-school safety initiative,” said NSC President and CEO Janet Froetscher. “Research has shown distracted drivers ‘look at’ but fail to ‘see’ up to 50% of the driving environment, which can include student pedestrians and bicyclists. The back-to-school season is a good reminder to be responsible drivers as we all share the roads.”

The car accident attorneys at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC are experienced in helping victims in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Margate, Port St. Lucie and West Palm Beach. If you or your child has been injured in a bicycling or pedestrian accident involving a motorist, call for a free consultation to discuss your rights at 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

Pair of Palm Beach School Bus Accidents a Reminder of Dangers Faced by Motorists and Passengers, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, October 29, 2010

School Bus Accidents in Port St. Lucie Often Caused by Operator Negligence, Contact an Experienced Law Firm Immediately, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, May 12, 2011

Small Children at Risk of Severe Injury in Fort Pierce Bicycle Accidents, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, June 26, 2011

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