For many parents, it’s the most wonderful time of year. School is back in session here in Ontario and parents are celebrating throughout the province. But while we are busy celebrating our children being back at their desks, we also must keep mindful that we are now back in school mode when sharing the roads with school buses, small pedestrians, and small cyclists.
As Collingwood personal injury lawyers, we often see the results of accidents involving school children this time of year. Let’s all be extra vigilant when driving on our roads and remember how to keep our children safe.
School is in session and that means more traffic congestion. Rule number one is to SLOW DOWN and pay attention. Certain times of the day merit even more caution such as before the school day begins, during lunch, and when the school day ends. It’s important to understand that children can be unpredictable and can dart out between cars when you least expect it.
Especially now, keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Be Cautious Around School Buses
When you are following a school bus, allow for greater distance. This will allow you more time to react when the bus indicates it will be stopping. Know the rules when sharing the road with school buses. Drivers are required to stop in both directions for a school bus that has stopped with its upper red lights flashing and should not move forward until the lights have stopped flashing. Make sure to stop at a safe distance in order to allow space for children getting on and off the bus. Remember that the 10 feet surrounding the bus are the most dangerous for children entering or exiting the bus.
Be Cautious of Young Pedestrians
● Always stop for a crossing guard.
● Always be extra cautious around designated school zones, playgrounds, and adjacent residential areas. Never pass another vehicle in a school zone.
● Never block a crosswalk when stopped at a red light.
● Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
Sharing the Road With Young Cyclists
Children riding bicycles to school present special areas of caution for drivers. Children have a tendency to turn without looking or signaling. Be extra vigilant around school zones and residential areas where young bicyclists may be coming from driveways or between parked cars. As parents, we need to take time to caution our children with proper rules surrounding riding bikes on the road and how to keep themselves as safe as possible.
A Mutual Priority
Keeping our roads safe this school season is a priority we should all embrace. It is important to remember that children have a limited understanding of danger and can be distracted so it is up to us to exercise extra care and caution when driving in school zones and residential neighborhoods. The Collingwood injury lawyers at BLFON Personal Injury Lawyer are dedicated to keeping our children safe this school season. Join us by keeping especially watchful on our roads now that school is in session.