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Five Tips for Walking to School Safely

School is back in session, and while the majority of school-age kids either take a car or bus to school, many kids still use walking or biking as their primary mode of transportation. According to Streetsblog USA, in 2009, approximately 35% of kids walked or biked to school—that’s about one in three kids walking or biking to school in Charleston, South Carolina.

Back side of a yellow school bus

With more pedestrians on the road in the morning and the afternoon, it’s important to take some time to consider pedestrian safety. Too many people suffer personal injuries every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, every 24 hours as many as 445 people will be treated in the ER after being involved in a pedestrian accident. Here are five tips to share with your kids to help them get to school safely.

  1. Always cross the street at crosswalks and intersections. School crosswalks are often safer because guards are present to help students get safely across the street and to stop and direct traffic. Drivers are also legally required to stop when there are children in the crosswalk. Teach your children about jaywalking and its dangers.
  2. Walk on sidewalks. Instruct your children about safe walking spaces. If a sidewalk is present, children should choose to walk on the sidewalk rather than on the shoulder of a road. Help your child find the safest route to school with the least traffic, with proper crosswalks, and with proper sidewalks.
  3. Teach your children how to cross the street. Look left, then right, then left again before crossing the street. Always wait until cars stop before stepping out into the street. Even when walking in a crosswalk, it is possible that a driver may not see you. Children should always be instructed to wait until the car comes to a complete stop before walking. Don’t run across a street and keep looking out for cars as you cross.
  4. Wear bright clothing. As days get shorter in the winter months, children may walk home during dusk. Wearing bright clothing makes it more likely that drivers will spot you and be able to stop.
  5. Walk with a parent or with friends. Younger children should always walk to school with an adult or parent. Older children may be able to walk to school on their own, but they are safer if they walk with siblings or with friends. Parents should know their children’s route to and from school and times when the children will be walking these routes. Horseplay around roads should always be prohibited.

Pedestrian safety is everyone’s responsibility. Parents, children, and drivers all have a stake in keeping the roads safe this fall. Unfortunately, every year, pedestrian accidents claim the lives of thousands of people. In 2003 alone, over 4,000 pedestrians were killed on roads. In many cases, these accidents took place because drivers failed to follow the law. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you seek justice. The Drescher Law Firm, L.L.C. handles only personal injury cases and offers free, no obligation consultations to new clients.

Personal Injury Attorney Profile

Scott Drescher, Personal Injury Lawyer in Charleston SC. imageMr. Drescher's knowledge and experience in the field of personal injury and wrongful death law have made him an outstanding personal injury and wrongful death attorney in South Carolina. He understands the thinking process of juries, due in part to his educational background in psychology and sociology. He is experienced in trying large civil cases, which has helped him become a very successful trial attorney in Charleston and the surrounding areas.
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