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Back-to-school road safety tips

The first weeks of September are a nervous, exciting period for Ontario’s kids, parents, and even personal injury lawyers. School’s return means tens of thousands of children have resumed their morning and afternoon commutes, greatly increasing the number of vulnerable road users on the province’s streets. As such, the beginning of the month is an excellent time for parents to review basic road safety principles with their children and for civilian drivers to brush up on important traffic rules. Reacquainting yourself with relevant laws and regulations can mean the difference between a safe commute and a serious personal injury.

Tips for Parents

In urban settings, many parents encourage their children to walk to school. Walking to and from class has myriad benefits for young people, but parents must first be sure that their children are ready for the responsibility. Most personal injury lawyers recommend walking with your child several times to ensure they are comfortable, confident, and cognizant of any dangers. Parents should also ensure that high-traffic intersections are identified and, if possible, avoided.

If your child isn’t ready to walk to school, you may need to drop them off and pick them up. School zones are often chaotic, so it is imperative that parents slow down, obey traffic rules, avoid stopping in no-parking zones, and keep crosswalks clear of traffic.

Tips for Kids

If your child does walk to school, encourage them to travel with a friend until they are fully comfortable with the route. If they choose to bike, they must wear a helmet: in Ontario, it is illegal for individuals under the age of 18 to ride without one. Wearing a helmet can save your child’s life if they’re involved in a bicycle accident.

Once they’ve arrived at school, children should remain vigilant in parking lots and school zones. Everyone can understand the excitement of seeing friends and favourite teachers again, but darting across the road for a reunion could be life-threatening. Encourage your kids to look both ways and cross only at designated crosswalks.

Tips for Drivers

Back-to-school also impacts everyday commuters who may have grown accustomed to kid-free roads. If your drive passes through school zones, make sure to give yourself extra time during the first couple weeks of the month. Reduce your speed, avoid distractions, and exercise extreme caution around school busses.

Contact Will Davidson LLP

If you or a member of your family is injured in a car accident this fall, contact Will Davidson LLP to speak with our team of experienced personal injury lawyers. We can help you plan your recovery and access compensation for your injuries.


Image credit: Glenn Beltz/Flickr

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