Back-to-school time is already upon us and while it may be an exciting time of getting to know new friends and new classes, it is not a time to become complacent with regards to safety. “In 2015 alone, 3477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers,” according to the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  The NHTSA also reported that teens were the largest age group to be found distracted at the time of an accident.

Back to School Traffic SafetyIn order to remind the public of the consequences of distracted driving, the NHTSA has launched their U Drive. U Text. U Pay campaign, an awareness effort enforcing financial penalties for the violation of state distracted driving laws.  “Young people need to understand the dangers of texting and driving before it kills them or someone they love,” said Mark Rosekind, the 15th Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “It’s up to us as parents to set the right example by never texting and driving ourselves, and by laying down the law for our young drivers: no texting behind the wheel or no keys to the car. These are driving safety lessons that young drivers will carry with them throughout their lives.”

Apart from dangers of distracted driving, the New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Console & Associates P.C. urge all parents and students to make safe choices no matter what mode of transportation gets you to school each day.

Bus Safety

  • Always stand back from the school bus as it pulls up to the curb, wait for the bus driver to fully open the doors and instruct you that it is safe to enter before boarding the bus.
  • When in your seat, sit facing forward and follow all instructions from your driver.
  • When you are getting off the bus, be sure to look for oncoming cars and step far away from the bus as it leaves.

Walking Safety

  • Use sidewalks and if there are no sidewalks always walk facing traffic.
  • Do not fool around with your friends while walking—that means no pushing, shoving, or similar actions that could accidentally knock someone into oncoming traffic.
  • Always cross at crosswalks and look left, right, then left again before crossing.

Biking Safety

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Ride on the sidewalk or bike paths—do not ride in the street!
  • Only cross the street at marked crosswalks and when it is safe to do so.

Driving Safety—For Parents

  • Ensure that young children are safely buckled into a child safety seat or booster seat.
  • Ensure all children wear their seatbelts.
  • Always check before you lock your vehicle to ensure that no child is left in the car.