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Drivers need to be aware of children going back to school

It was a long summer for many Ohio residents, but for most children and some parents, summer ended all too soon. Now, kids across the country are preparing for the new school year. As you know, this means an increase in back-to-school traffic, as well as children walking and riding their bikes along the roads. It is imperative that everyone understand the risks children face before and after school – including drivers, parents and children themselves.

Officials from the National Safety Council are urging people across the United States to be vigilant throughout the fall, as everyone acclimates to the start of the school year. You might begin by talking to your children about the following safety tips on their way to and from school:

  • Always cross the street at crosswalks or with a crossing guard, and obey traffic signals.
  • Don’t wear headphones or text on the phone while walking near traffic.
  • Be aware that bus drivers can’t see people crossing directly in front of the bus; cross the street at least 10 feet in front of the bus and only when the bus’s caution lights are on and the safety arm extended.
  • Make eye contact with drivers and be sure they have stopped before crossing the street.
  • Never engage in horseplay near traffic or run out into the road.

Your kids can be proactive in their own safety, but the majority of the responsibility falls to drivers. When driving to and from work, be aware that children are also walking or riding bikes during these time frames. Watch for children who might dart into traffic, yield to crossing guards and always stop for a bus that has turned its caution lights on.

This fall, we all hope for a safe and fun start to the school year. If a negligent driver harms your child, you may be entitled to seek compensation.

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