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Start the New School Year Off Right With Good Habits

Posted on in Car Accidents

Fall is an exciting time for families as children start back to school. A new school year often brings new routines, and it's beneficial to start good habits at the outset in order to keep kids safe. Maybe your child is walking or biking to school for the first time, and safety concerns have moved to the top of your list. These tips will help keep children safe on their way to school even if you're not around.

First of all, children should be taught to be aware of vehicles and motorists at all times. This goes further than just looking both ways when crossing the street; kids should keep an eye on vehicles - even if parked - while walking to school. School bus drivers are generally well-trained to look out for children in and around bus stops and school zones, but kids should also be alert and mindful of their own safety when walking in front of or behind a school bus. If riding on a school bus, it is important to follow the bus driver's instructions to stay seated, and to keep all extremities inside the bus. Many communities are organizing "walking school buses," which are groups of kids who walk to school together, usually with one or more adults. Consider spearheading this if it might work for your neighborhood.

San Jose is well-regarded for its proactive safety precautions when it comes to school pedestrian safety. A special committee has been designated to evaluate school walking routes and to implement the use of a paid crossing guard if an area meets certain criteria. If you feel that your child's walking route should have an official crossing guard, you can go to the city's website and learn how to request an evaluation.

If your child is riding a bike to school, then make sure he or she knows to ride with the flow of traffic, and if under the age of 9, to ride only on the sidewalk. Just as with walking, staying aware and paying close attention to their surroundings is key to children's safety on the way to school.

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