As the end of the school year approaches, we like to remind drivers and parents about the importance of keeping kids safe during the last week of school and throughout the summer months. Kids will be excited about the last few days of school approaching, and may not be thinking about their personal safety. Neighborhood streets that were practically empty during school hours will once again be filled with kids on bikes, skateboards, having lemonade stands – you name it. Drivers need to be extra cautious in looking for children during the summer.
Tips for Drivers:
– During those last few days of school, be aware that kids may be arriving or leaving school at different times throughout the day. Kids often have a varied schedule throughout the summer with summer camps and other activities, so you will never know when to expect children to be playing in the neighborhood.(i.e. SLOW IT DOWN A NOTCH).
-Put the phone down. No text or email is that important that it can’t wait the two minutes that it will take you to get home in your neighborhood. Just wait.
– The last week of school is an exciting time for kids, and they may become preoccupied and forget the rules, like looking both ways before crossing the street, riding their bikes safely, etc. Use extra caution when driving through school zones and neighborhoods. Despite a neighborhood speed limit being set at 25, it only takes a fraction of a second for an accident or injury to occur. Slow it down an notch – who cares if the driver behind you complains!
– Remember that speed limits remain in effect year round. Observe carefully when driving around playgrounds and parks. Small children are less predictable and harder to see than adults. Again, slow it down below 25 and avoid a tragic accident
– Watch for clues; a ball in the road, bikes on the sidewalk, or a Slip and Slide in the yard can mean kids are playing nearby. Pay attention and always anticipate the unexpected (i.e. SLOW IT DOWN A NOTCH).
– Always watch for children as you’re backing your car up. Walk around your vehicle to make sure that there are no small kids are behind it.
Tips for Parents:
– Focus on the basics. Teach your kids to make eye contact with the driver before they cross, even if the walk signal is on or they are in a designated crossing area.
– Remind them to walk, don’t run across the road;
-Don’t chase a ball into the street. The ball can be replaced. You, kid, cannot;
– Stop, look and listen before crossing the street.
– Always wear a helmet when riding your bike, skateboard, etc. On second though, if your kids are anything like mine, just have them wear a helmet all the time…
– When walking with your child, avoid unnecessary shortcuts like walking through a parking lot. Drivers may not see children between parked cars and the children may not see the cars moving.
As injury lawyers in Tulsa we often see injury claims, related to children being hit by cars increase significantly during the summer months. Don’t be part of that statistic. Take the time to be more aware, especially when approaching a school zone or entering a neighborhood. Take time to talk to your kids about ways to avoid an accident or injury this summer.
We hope you have a safe and excellent summer!