As a parent, it may feel like the worrying never ends. During the summer, you worry about your children’s safety when they are out riding bikes, at camp, and hanging out with friends. Now that the end of August is approaching, you have to consider your children’s safety on the way to school, at school, and after school. To mitigate your worry (as much as you can), you prepare your children, no matter how young or old they are, for back-to-school safety. Yet, no matter how prepared your children are and vigilant you remain, your child could be injured in a pedestrian-vehicle accident while walking to school, in a bus accident, in a slip and fall at school, or during an after-school activity.
If your child is injured this school year, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced Denver personal injury lawyer at Donaldson Law, LLC. If another person is to blame for the incident, you may have the right to pursue compensation for your and your child’s economic and non-economic injuries.
Preparing Your Child to Walk to and From School
If your children walk to and from school, be cognizant of the route they take – or the shortcuts they may use. Talk with them about sticking to the sidewalks and not walking on the road. Make it clear that they should only cross where there is a crosswalk, and preferably, where there is a stop light that will give them a walk signal. Walking in the middle of a road, without a crosswalk, increases the risk of your children being hurt in a pedestrian accident.
If they ride their bikes to school, make sure they have a properly fitting helmet and reflectors on their bike, and that they know the rules of the road.
In the weeks before going back to school, it is a good idea to get your children’s routine for school established. If your children run late in the morning, they are more likely to rush to school and pay less attention to the cars. They may try to cross the street when it isn’t safe. Get their routine established as best you can so that, hopefully, your children are ready to leave for school with plenty of time before the bell rings.
Talk With Your Child About Bus Safety
When you live too far from your child’s school, the school bus is the natural option. Have the same talk with your children about the walk to and from their bus stop as you would about walking to school. Ensure your kids understand how important it is to stay out of the road and cross the street safely. For your teenagers going back to school, ask them to take off their headphones (or at least turn the volume of their music, podcast, or video down) while they are walking so they can hear the traffic around them. Remind your children to not walk and text.
Talk to your children about how they behave on the bus. If the bus has seatbelts, encourage your child to wear them. If the bus does not have seatbelts, remind your child to sit properly in the seat. Sitting on their knees or leaning over the back of the seat won’t keep them safe in the event of a crash. Also, remind them to not distract the bus driver. They should behave on the bus to allow the driver to focus on the road, not a commotion going on behind them. The same rules apply if your children take a Regional Transportation District (RTD) bus to and from school.
Talk to Your Teen About Driving to School
Your teenager may have the benefit of using a family vehicle or their own to drive to school. On one hand, this can be a weight off your shoulders. Finally, they can get to school without too much work on your part. On the other hand, your teen is at high risk for a car crash.
Before your teen starts driving to school, warn them about school zone speed limits. They need to drive slower around schools and when children are present. Make sure they know when the school zone starts and ends and what times law enforcement considers children to be present. If they don’t slow down, they could get a pricey ticket or hurt someone.
Go over the laws regarding driving around buses, including when they need to stop for a bus to let passengers off or on. Driving past a bus when they shouldn’t also be an expensive ticket.
Last but not least, talk with your teen about the risk of distraction. Ask them to keep the music volume down, put away their cell phones, and not talk too much with their friends or siblings while they drive.
Contact a Denver-Area Personal Injury Attorney
Now that it’s back to school season, you can’t be with your kids all the time.. If one or more of your children are hurt in a car or bus crash, call us right away at (303) 458-5000. Attorney Jennifer L. Donaldson and her team are here to support your family during this stressful time.