As schools across Virginia prepare to reopen their doors for the 2022-2023 school year, it is an important reminder to review simple safety tips before sending your child off for their day. Walking to or from school, riding bikes, or riding the bus increases your child’s risk of suffering potentially serious personal injuries in an accident. The following are tips that can help you keep them safe.

Safety Tips for School Children Who Ride the Bus

While parents often worry about putting their children on a school bus, it remains one of the safest forms of transportation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), crashes and collisions are far more likely to occur when a parent is driving their child to school. However, buses do pose some potential hazards, the biggest of which involves loading and unloading. To prevent injuries, encourage your child to follow these tips:

  • Wait in an orderly fashion at the bus stop.
  • Stand at least three giant steps back from the curb.
  • Wait for the bus driver to signal before attempting to board.
  • Stay seated during the trip.
  • On the way home, wait for the bus to stop completely before leaving your seat.
  • Use handrails when getting off and avoid pushing.
  • Wait for the crossing guard or for the driver to signal before attempting to cross the street.

For Children Who Ride a Bike to School

Riding a bike can be a fast, fun way for your child to get to school. However, be aware that the times they are traveling are some of the busiest in terms of work commuters. To protect them, take the following steps:

  • Make sure their bike is properly maintained and has head and taillights, as well as reflectors.
  • Make sure your child wears bright, light colors to increase visibility, particularly on dark or foggy days.
  • Make sure they are aware of basic traffic rules, such as the requirement to ride in a single file and with traffic.
  • Insist that they wear a helmet and other protective gear.

Protecting Children Who Walk to School

Pedestrian accidents are common, and children who walk to school are among those most at risk. To protect them, make sure they follow these tips from the National Safety Council:

  • Stay on sidewalks whenever possible.
  • Cross only at designated intersections.
  • Wait for the crossing guard to signal at crosswalks.
  • Pay attention when crossing driveways or parking lot entrances.
  • Avoid wearing earbuds, which can muffle warning signs such as honking horns or screeching tires.

Contact a Virginia Accident Attorney Today

If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss what legal options you may have. These types of accidents can be difficult because you are usually dealing with the school district and the district’s insurance carrier. It can become more complex if the school bus is owned by a private busing company and has been contracted by the district to transport students.

A skilled Virginia school bus accident attorney will be able to investigate the accident and determine what the best legal course of action is. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, our legal team works diligently for each client to make sure they receive the best possible outcome for their injury case, like a $50,000 settlement for one teen who suffered serious injuries when his vehicle was hit by a school bus driver who failed to yield.

Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.