Tips for school zone safety

By Steven Miller
Senior Partner

School drop-off and pick-up can frazzle the steadiest of nerves, whether you walk your child to school, or drive them. Children appear from every direction and everyone is in a hurry. Throw in buses, and it’s no wonder that pedestrian accidents in school zones continue to happen at a disturbing rate. Luckily, there are things you can do to help.

Your child walks or bikes to school:

Depending on your child’s age, you may walk with them to school, or they may walk or bike on their own. Either way, consider walking with them a few times to make sure they are following these safety tips:

  • Stay on the sidewalk. If your community does not have sidewalks and you cannot walk on the boulevard, walk facing traffic.
  • Wear a helmet anytime you bike.
  • Stop at crosswalks to look for cars. Check left, then right, then left again. Don’t walk between parked cars. If you ride a bike, walk it across the crosswalk.
  • Teach your cyclist to follow the rules of the road: staying to the right, using hand signals, and following traffic signals. You should also teach them to look out for danger, such as road debris and people opening car doors.
  • No distracted walking. This goes for parents, especially. Do not contribute to this growing problem by looking at your phone while. Even if your child is too young to have a phone now, remember that you are modeling safe behavior for them for the future.

You drive your child to school:

You probably already drive carefully in a school zone, but a surprising number of parents fail to do these few simple things to improve safety:

  • Slow down and stop completely at stop signs and crossing guards. Follow the crossing guard’s signals.
  • Check all directions before pulling out or backing up– remember that children might be behind or beside you.
  • Do not double-park. It limits the view of other drivers, not to mention annoying the driver you block in.
  • Look for bicycles. Many children bike to school, and they lack experience with bicycle handling, safety, and traffic rules.
  • Put down the phone. This one should be obvious, but too many parents still talk on their phones while navigating drop-off. Distracted driving is especially dangerous in a school zone.

School zones will probably always be hectic, but you can do your part to improve safety, as well as sanity, during the school year.

About the Author
Steven Miller, Esq. is the founding member and Senior Partner in Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. Mr. Miller’s extensive career as a trial attorney spans five decades. He tries cases for the catastrophically injured victims of construction site accidents, motor vehicle and premises accidents caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Miller is a detail oriented, tenacious attorney committed to achieving the maximum results for his clients; he has obtained numerous seven figure verdicts and settlements.