How to Stay Safe During Back to School Month

How to Stay Safe During Back to School Month

August is officially Back to School Month, and students across Washington state are gearing up to return to in-person learning. Many parents know that family life can get hectic during this time of year, but remember that health and safety should always be top of mind. Now is a great time to review some key tips for navigating school zones safely.

Drivers in School Zones

Driving is something that requires you to remain vigilant while doing in any setting, but it’s especially crucial when traveling in and out of school zone areas. Remember that younger children are smaller and, therefore, more difficult to spot. They may also not know how to use the crosswalk safely and can dart out unexpectedly in front of your vehicle.

Additionally, extra precautions should be taken when sharing the road with school buses. As a motorist, here are a safe driving techniques to implement:

  • Eliminate all distractions, especially cell phones.
  • Reduce your speed, as the speed limit in school zones is 20 mph unless otherwise posted.
  • Stay alert, especially during peak drop-off and pick-up times—typically, this is between 7 a.m.-8 a.m. and 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
  • Always obey stop signs and crossing guards.
  • Make eye contact with children who are crossing the street.
  • If the red lights on a school bus are flashing, this means children getting off and on the bus. Stay 20 feet away from the bus and never attempt to pass it.

Bicycle Riders and Pedestrians

Children love walking and biking to school. While these may seem like mundane activities, it’s important to remember that young children don’t inherently know how to use the crosswalk, what rules to follow on two wheels, and how to increase their visibility. As a parent, it’s your job to teach them these safety techniques! Here are some specific ones to review with your child:

  • Always walk on the sidewalk. If you have to walk on the road, do so on the side of oncoming traffic.
  • Whenever possible, travel in groups. It’s easier to spot multiple people than a singular person.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Only cross the street when a crossing guard or crosswalk light indicates to do so.
  • Look left and right twice before crossing.
  • On a bicycle, wear bright colors to increase visibility.
  • Always wear a properly-fitted bicycle helmet.
  • Before a ride, it’s important to check all the parts of your bicycle.

COVID-19 Precautions

Lastly, we want to reiterate the importance of staying safe and healthy during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to check with your child’s school district online for what measures are being implemented to keep students, staff and families safe. You can also check out the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction website for more information.

If you or your child is injured during this back-to-school season due to another person’s negligence, our team is prepared to review your case for free and determine what legal options you have moving forward. Head attorney, Robert Kornfeld, has been advocating for those injured across the state of Washington for 38+ years. We will work hard on behalf of you and your family.

Contact our firm at (425) 657-5255 to get started with a free consultation today!


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