Thousands of students, parents, and school employees are starting a new school year in Miami-Dade this week. Going back to school may be routine for some, and a fresh, exciting adventure for new students and parents, but everyone can use a refresher in back to school safety tips for on the road. Follow our back to school safety tips for a smooth school year!
Parents Driving Children to School
Miami is notorious for its traffic snarls and creative drivers. The first day of school is especially stressful on the roads; be sure to plan ahead and allow extra time to reach your destination.
Reducing the feeling of being rushed will allow you to focus so you can drive properly.
- Keep an eye out for pedestrians at crosswalks, children scrambling out of school buses, and bicyclists on their way to or from school.
- When driving by a school bus, it’s important to remember that all traffic is legally required to stop when a school bus displays its flashing red lights and extends it stop signs.
- Don’t text or use a cell phone while driving, especially not around children!
- Don’t pass other vehicles in school zones or crosswalks.
Children Riding the Bus
- Parents should discuss in detail the safest route to the bus stop, including how to cross streets if necessary.
- Teach older children to wait safely on the sidewalk, and to never cross behind a parked car, between parked cars, or run out into the street without looking both ways.
- Remind kids to look: “left-right-left” every single time before crossing.
- Children under 10 should always be accompanied by a legal guardian when waiting for a school bus to arrive.
- Kids should stand 6 feet, or three giant steps, away from the bus when it arrives, and refrain from sitting on the curb.
- Once inside the bus, kids should remain seated with their seat belts in place and keep the aisles clear.
Students Walking or Biking to School
Kids riding bicycles need to know the rules of the road, such as:
- Riding with traffic on the right hand side
- Walking their bikes across the street at an appropriate crosswalk
- Wearing bright colors during the day
- Avoiding riding at night.
Children need to wear a helmet every single time they ride a bike. There is a right way to wear a helmet: low on the forehead, with two fingers’ worth of space between the eyebrow and the helmet.
Walking to school can be a dangerous endeavor. Students must always:
- Use sidewalks
- Heed crosswalks and crossing guards
- Obey pedestrian signals
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing a road.
- If no sidewalk is available, you should walk against traffic.
And remember, listening to an iPod or texting while walking or biking can be very dangerous. Even college-age students need to be alert and aware at all times.
Pedestrian safety in Miami is an important issue; it’s vital to practice defensive driving, walking, and riding. Should the unthinkable happen, please contact our attorneys for a confidential consultation. Be sure to download our free Accident Assistant app, which will help you record and access important information in the event of an automobile accident.