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Back to School Safety Tips

Making sure our kiddos know the importance of being safe around vehicles on the road is a big job. Whether your kids walk, bike, ride the school bus, or if you take them to school yourself; it is extremely important that they take proper safety precautions. Here are a few tips that might make having a conversation about road and vehicle safety easier.

Walking to school

  • Set clear safety rules and boundaries, and practice walking to school with your kids.
    • Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available; when on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.
    • Before you cross the street, stop and look left, right and left again to see if cars are coming. If possible when crossing the street do so at street corners and if possible, in crosswalks. Do not jaywalk!
    • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing. Make sure that they see you before stepping into the street and that they have come to a full and complete stop.
    • Stay alert and avoid distracted walking. It is important to express the dangers of walking and being distracted by devices like cellphones.

Riding your bike to school

  • Teach your child the rules of the road and practice riding the bike route to school with your child.
    • Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, and in single file. Use bike lanes when they are present.
    • Come to a complete stop before crossing the street at intersections and then walk your bikes across the street.
    • Stay alert and avoid distracted riding. Discourage children from using headphones while riding their bikes and to stop riding and find a safe place off the road when they need to use their cell phones.
    • Make sure your child always wears a properly fitted helmet and bright clothing so they can be seen by motorists.

Riding the bus to school

  • Teach your children school bus safety rules and practice with them.
    •  Go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus
    • Teach your children to stand six feet (or 3 giant steps) away from the curb
    • If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, teach him or her to walk on the side of the road until they are 10 feet ahead of the bus; your child and the bus driver should always be able to see each other
    • Remind them to look and listen for vehicles when crossing in front of the bus. In California, drivers must stop when they see the lights flashing on the backside of a bus, but children should also keep an eye out just to be safe.

Driving your kids to school

  • Stay alert and avoid distracted driving
    • Obey school zone speed limits and follow your school's drop-off procedure.
    • Do not double park in the school zones it makes it more difficult for you and other people to see small children entering and exiting vehicles.
    • Make eye contact with children who are crossing the street, so they know that you see them and that they see you.
    • Set a good example and never text and drive.

Choosing the proper backpack

  • Choose a backpack for your child carefully; it should have ergonomically designed features to enhance safety and comfort
    • Ask your child to use both straps when wearing their backpack to evenly distribute the weight on their shoulders
    • Don’t overstuff a backpack; it should weigh no more than 5 to 10 percent of your child’s body weight
    • Rolling backpacks should be used cautiously since they can create a trip hazard in crowded school hallways

The safety of the children in our community if of the utmost importance to those of us here at Westside Transmission & Automotive. For more information please check out the National Safety Council at www.nsc.org/road-safety for more tips, and check out our blog next week for 7 Tips That Will Help You Pass Your Smog Test.

As always, thank you for reading.

Laura @ Westside Transmission & Automotive, Inc.

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