As your school-age children get older, you will likely grant them increasing levels of autonomy regarding their daily lives. This will likely include getting to and from school every day. If your child is old enough to have a cellphone, you may feel comfortable letting them walk to school in some weather conditions.
Even if they are not old enough to handle the commute to school as a pedestrian, you may still let them wait at the bus stop alone with their friends. Unfortunately, your children may be at risk of an injury caused by a car crash while waiting at the bus stop or walking to school. Talking with them a little bit about pedestrian safety can go a long way toward minimizing their risk.
Kids should never text and walk
Mobile communication plays a major role in adolescent socialization. Unfortunately, it also creates a lot of risk for teenagers and young adults. Their social media feed or text messages may seem so engrossing that they fail to pay attention to where they stop or who might be nearby.
A teenager reading or composing a message might stop while standing in the street or step down into traffic, potentially right in front of a moving vehicle.
Practice the best route and talk about traffic safety
Hopefully, your children won’t need to cross too many busy intersections and those that they do have to cross will have crossing guards. However, even calm side streets can be dangerous if a driver isn’t paying attention.
Talk to your kids about how many drivers don’t watch carefully for pedestrians. Make sure your children know the route that is safest and easiest to get to school or to the bus stop. Also make sure that they understand how important it is to pay attention when in close proximity to vehicles and to try to stay visible, especially on mornings where there is fog, rain or low light.
Bus safety is another important lesson
The longer children ride the bus to and from school, the more comfortable they get with mass transportation. That can be a good thing as well as a source of unnecessary risk. When kids have grown used to traveling on the bus, they may do things that increase their risks in the event of a bus crash, such as sitting or kneeling in a strange position, leaving their seat or otherwise engaging in dangerous behaviors.
The more you communicate with your child about safety, the more informed they will be to make good decisions for themselves. Sadly, there will be circumstances that no amount of proactive parenting can control or prevent. The situations could include collisions when your child is a pedestrian.
If your child winds up injured because of a dangerous driver, you may be able to take legal action against the person responsible. Consulting with an experienced New York attorney is often the best way to learn more about your rights as the parents of an injured child.