Even if you don’t have kids, you’ll be impacted by the return of NYC school children to their regular routine. Back-to-school means more pedestrians and bicyclists, many younger and less capable of preventing accidents on their own.
While we’re happy to help you recover compensation after a devastating accident, we’d rather everyone, especially children, stay safe out there. So, we wanted to compile some back-to-school safety tips that could help.
Do Dry Runs With Your Kids
If your children are younger, it’s a good idea to travel your entire route with them twice or thrice so they know what to do. This is true whether they’re walking, biking, taking public transit, or taking the school bus.
Dry runs prevent situations where children end up getting lost. They also prevent scenarios where an anxious child is too busy focusing on the route to pay attention to traffic.
Review Safe Travel Procedures with Your Kids
NYC Schools maintains a list of safety procedures children should follow when boarding the bus, taking the train, or walking to school. You should go over the entire list with them.
Be especially vigilant about train safety; even adults make mistakes on trains, and even many adults have suffered from injuries on the subway. Remind your student to stand back from the platform edge, board the train only when stationary, and avoid jumping on the tracks for any reason.
Respect School Busses While Driving
As a driver, you must respect the school buses you see on the road. Know that New York law makes it illegal to pass a school bus that has stopped to load or unload children. You should respect a school bus stop sign just as you’d respect a stationary stop sign.
Remember to remain at least ten feet away from the school bus.
You may pass when the school bus is moving. But you must only pass on the left, never on the right. Finally, you should avoid honking your horn. This can cause children to bolt out of fear, and sometimes they bolt in the wrong direction.
Stay Alert While Driving
Now, more than ever, it’s time to watch the road. Children sometimes dart into crosswalks unexpectedly.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be engaged in distracted driving, but if you’ve fallen into some bad habits, August is a good time to address them. Remember, taking your eyes off the road for three seconds could cost a child their life. It’s not worth it.
Make Eye Contact with Pedestrians
When drivers take the time to make eye contact with pedestrians, you show them that you’ve seen them and that it’s safe to cross. Stopping to make eye contact also slows you down and reminds you of the consequences of a mistake.
If you’re the lead vehicle waiting at the crosswalk, you could even take the stance that you’re protecting those pedestrians from other drivers until they’ve crossed safely!
Comply with School Safety Personnel and Procedures
This year, there will be 200 more school safety agents in our school system. Safety agents help see to school security by scanning for weapons, keeping an eye on the school itself, and intervening in potential gang activity. They also respond to immediate security situations.
It’s also a good idea to review the Parent Guide to School Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Make sure you are thoroughly briefed on the school safety plan for each of the schools your children attend.
All of these resources can help keep your children safe. Many of the cases we deal with involve injury through inadequate or negligent security; we are quite cognizant of all the ways additional security can make a difference in keeping children, parents, and teachers safe.
We’re Here to Help if Something Goes Wrong
We hope that everyone has an extremely safe school year.
But if something goes wrong, we’re here to help. If you or your child are injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or even as the result of a school official’s security, contact our law office right away.
Involving our team of lawyers early can strengthen your case and ensure you receive the resources you’ll require to recover financially from the accident and to ensure your child gets top-notch medical care.
Plus, in many cases, you’ll get to teach the responsible party a lesson in accountability!