Keep Your Children Safe on the Road This School Year

School Bus Stop SignIt’s time to go back to school! Whether you are sending your child to school on a bus or letting your teen driver take a turn at the wheel, it is important to prepare them for the journey. According to the CDC, 258,000 teens were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes in 2019.

While taking the bus tends to be a safer alternative, teaching your children these basic safety tips is vital in helping them arrive at school safely.

Teen Driving Safety Tips:

  • Remember that safety starts in the home. Setting household guidelines when it comes to driving habits is important when your kids begin driving. Points of discussion would be cell phone use, music and other distractions, passengers that are not family members, etc.
  • Remind your teen of the 5 basic rules of safe driving: no phones, no extra passengers, no speeding, no alcohol, and no driving or riding without a seat belt.
  • Know that the main factor in teen accidents is that teens are inexperienced drivers, which makes them the MOST dangerous demographic on the road. They have trouble determining breaks in traffic, turning safely, selecting appropriate speeds, and tend to make a number of other poor decisions regarding nighttime driving, alcohol, and seatbelt use.

Tips for Helping Children Board the Bus Safely:

  • Keep all belongings in a backpack to prevent dropped items. If a ball gets dropped and rolls near a school bus, your child should know to alert the bus driver before going to get it. Under no circumstance should your child pick up a dropped item.
  • Groups of children are easier for drivers to spot. Walk younger children onto the bus and have older students walk in one group.
  • Encourage students to make eye contact. The NHTSA recommends children arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes before the bus arrives and to stand at least 10 feet away from traffic.
  • Remind children to never stand or walk behind a bus. If your child needs to cross the street, encourage them to wait until the bus has left or teach them to communicate with the bus driver directly about crossing in front of the bus at a safe time.

Even though school buses are among the safest vehicles on the road, if not the safest, it is imperative that your student know best practices when it comes to keeping it that way. If you’ll be driving your child into school (or they’ll be driving), this is also a good time to make sure your car’s inspection is up-to-date. If your car is in need of a service, be sure to contact Tommy’s Automotive.