Topic two of our “Back to School Safety” series is bicycling and pedestrian safety. Many parents rely on a school buses to transport their children to school but there are some children close enough in proximity to walk or ride a bike to school. Bicycle and pedestrian accidents are a leading cause ofchild injury in North Carolina throughout the fall season.
Other topics in our series include avoiding school-related accidents on the playground, North Carolina’s Safe Routes to School Program and tips for teen driver.
Free spirits and carefree attitudes often put innocent young children at risk of accidents; our Greensboro injury lawyers hope that parents take a few minutes to go over some reminders and establish some ground rules as school returns to session.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2008, one out of every five children ages 5 to 9 years-old killed by a car was not a passenger in the car but rather a pedestrian involved in the accident.
In 2001, 59 percent of all emergency room visits following a bicycle accident were children under the age of 16.
There is an obvious health benefit to encouraging children to walk or ride a bike to school so we by no means want to discourage them from this behavior. It is important to review some safety precautions so that children can stay safe while getting the recommended amount of exercise each day. The National Safety Council offers these tips to parents and young children:
Bike to school tips:
-Wear protective equipment to reduce injuries in a collision.
-Take your child out to an empty parking lot or side street with no traffic to practice riding. The more experience they have, the more confident they will be which will result in less likeliness of an accident.
-Accompany your child if they need to ride in the dark. Make sure they wear bright clothes, have reflectors on their bike and clothing and place a light on the front of the bike to serve as a headlight.
-Educate your child on the rules of the road like when to stop, when to yield, when to merge and which direction to ride.
-Acknowledge that a driver sees you before you attempt to cross a street.
Walk to school tips:
-Avoid walking in the road next to cars when sidewalks are available.
-Hold your child’s hand as you walk across the street. Teach them to look left, look right, and then left again before crossing.
-Encourage your child to walk with friends rather than walking alone.
-Contact the school system if there are no crossing guards or patrolmen at busy intersections in your neighborhood.
-Teach your children to never dash out in front of a moving vehicle, especially from behind a parked car where the driver can’t see them.
-Never assume a vehicle will stop as you cross the street using a crosswalk. Be alert for moving vehicles.
Children of all ages can benefit from reviewing safety tips. Before each school year, check off items from the Back-to-School Checklist to ensure your children are aware of the do’s and don’ts for getting to school safely.
The injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices P.A are dedicated to helping victims and the families injured while walking or biking to school in North Carolina. If your child is injured in a car accident, call 1-800-887-1965 for a free no-obligation appointment to discuss your claim.
More Blog Entries:
Youth Safety Programs Aimed at Reducing Winston-Salem Car Accidents Involving Child Pedestrians or Bicyclists, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 19, 2011.
Greensboro Noted for Bike-Friendly City, Bike Accidents a Summer Risk in North Carolina, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, June 27, 2011.