There are few things more concerning than needing to teach children how to protect themselves from adults. However, as New Mexico drivers continue to flout the laws in place to protect children on the roads, parents may help to keep children safe by teaching them road safety tips.
CNN points out that while many parents worry about the bus ride, the walk to and from the bus is more dangerous. The problem is that even with flashing lights and stop signs, many drivers simply do not stop. Some deliberately keep going, while others are distracted by cellphones or food and see neither the stop sign nor the children until it is too late. More than one-third of children who die in accidents related to school transportation were on foot.
According to the NHTSA, the school bus itself is the safest form of highway transportation. To address the danger of getting on and off, teach children about the danger zone. This is areas of a bus where children are least likely to be seen by drivers. Generally speaking, this is ten feet in front, behind and on either side of the bus.
Here are some additional tips from the NHTSA:
- Teach children to stand five steps away from the street, which should equal about 10 feet.
- Get to the bus top around five minutes early.
- When exiting the bus, walk in front of it rather than behind.
- Before crossing the street, even with stop signs out, children should still look left and right before crossing.
- If children drop something, they should tell the bus driver before attempting to pick it up.
Keeping children safe on the roads keep parents up at night. Unfortunately, even the best lessons may not protect children from negligent and reckless drivers, but they do help to make children more aware.