Back to School Safety Tips for Parents, Drivers and Pedestrians in New Yorkers

mom walking her children to school - back to school safety tips

Class is back in session in New York for kids and parents alike, so what better time for a refresher course on back-to-school safety? The New York personal injury attorneys with Finz & Finz, P.C. want to do our part in keeping our community safe, which is why we’ve provided a blog post fit for valedictorians and class clowns alike. So sharpen up that number-two pencil and take notes – because while we won’t quiz you, life just might.

Safety Tips for Parents 

You can prepare your child for a successful school year by setting aside time to explain the potential safety hazards they may encounter and how to respond to them safely. Be sure to:

  • Review and practice your child’s drop-off and pick-up routine. Conduct a dry run before the school year begins so you and your child know what to expect. If your child takes the bus, be sure they know where to meet it and what bus number they ride. 
  • Go over playground etiquette to help avoid accidents. 
  • Talk to your child about what to expect in and out of school. Review walking and biking safety rules with them, talk about stranger danger, and let them know you are always available to answer their questions. Communicating with children in age-appropriate terms can help them feel more comfortable starting a new school year. 
  • Provide the school with up-to-date emergency contact information. Talk to your child and ensure they know who they can contact if something happens and you are unavailable. 

Safety Tips for New York Pedestrians 

Do you have children walking to school this year? It’s time to talk about pedestrian safety. Walk the routine your child will take to school with them. Discuss potential safety hazards like crossing the street or taking dangerous shortcuts. Remind back-to-schoolers about these pedestrian safety tips: 

  • Always walk on the sidewalk when possible
  • Avoid distractions and stay alert 
  • Cross the street at designated crosswalks
  • Stop and look both ways for cars using the left, right, and left method 
  • For young children, utilize the buddy system 
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street

Safety Tips for New York Bike Riders 

Riding a bicycle to school is a right of passage for many children. However, it can also be dangerous if your child doesn’t follow basic bicycle safety precautions. Here’s how you can protect your child when they ride their bike to school: 

  • Avoid distractions, like cell phones, while riding.
  • Bicyclists must obey all New York traffic laws, including all traffic signs and signals.
  • Children should wear correctly fitting helmets; New York law dictates children under 14 must have a safety-certified bicycle helmet when riding.
  • Never ride against traffic.
  • Use designated crosswalks to cross the street and walk your bike across.
  • Use proper hand signals.
  • When riding with others, ride single-file.

Safety Tips for New York Bus Riders  

Riding the bus may be convenient, but it can also pose safety hazards, especially for small children who may find it challenging to get on and off the bus. These safety tips can help teach your child bus-riding etiquette:

  • Children need to look both ways before crossing the street, even when the bus deploys its stop sign and flashing lights.
  • Never distract the bus driver.
  • Remind children to stay at least 6 feet away from the curb, giving the bus room to stop and open its doors.
  • Never stand on the bus while it is in motion.
  • Show your child where their bus stop is located and make sure they know their bus number.

Safety Tips for New York Drivers 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests car accidents are the second leading cause of death for teenage drivers in the United States. Because of this, and due to the difficult driving conditions the city presents, state law bans most people under the age of 18 from driving alone in the five boroughs. Those in Suffolk and Nassau Counties are subject to less stringent limitations. Still, all drivers should take extra precautions in back-to-school season, especially in school zones. Doing the following can help reduce preventable accidents: 

  • Avoid distracted driving.
  • Never honk or scare children in front of your vehicle. 
  • Never pass a stopped bus loading or unloading children; it is illegal to pass a school bus when lights and the stop sign are deployed. 
  • Give yourself ample time to make it to your destination so you don’t feel rushed and tempted to speed.
  • Keep at least 10 feet away from a stopped bus to allow plenty of room for children to enter and exit the bus safely.
  • Follow state limits on the number of passengers your teen driver can have in their vehicle.
  • Make eye contact with children as they cross the road.
  • Obey all signs, signals, traffic officers, and crossing guards.
  • Practice driving with your teens.
  • Set a good example for teen drivers with your driving behavior.
  • Slow down and follow the posted speed limit.
  • Stay alert in school zones.

Child Injured in a Back-to-School Accident? Contact a New York Personal Injury Attorney Now 

Nowadays, parents have much more to worry about when protecting their children. From traffic accidents to playground incidents and school violence, it is a tall order to keep your child safe throughout the school year. But you should know that if your child is hurt in a car accident, bus accident, or other back-to-school incident, help is at hand. The New York school injury attorneys with Finz & Finz, P.C. are dedicated to helping our neighbors get the compensation they deserve when they suffer injuries for which other people are to blame. And because we only charge a fee if we win at the negotiating table or in court, our clients won’t face a barrier when pursuing the justice they deserve.

Are you in need of a free consultation to review the specifics of your case? Then contact us today, and we’ll outline your legal options for gaining the support and compensation you need during this challenging time. 

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.