The big yellow buses are back on the road, signaling the start of another school year. Kids are back to classrooms that would be unfamiliar to most of us. Gone are the dusty chalkboards and squeaking media carts; in their place, smart whiteboards and online assignments. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. School is school, and it comes with its own unique set of challenges and risks.
Distraction is everywhere
Children of all ages are up against a bewildering and changing world with each passing year. The roar of dozens of buses dropping off throngs of students in a haze of diesel fuel can be confusing and disorienting. It’s easy for drivers to lose track of individual children in the chaos; couple that with the distraction of seeing old friends, checking out the nearest Pokémon, and figuring out where to go in a new environment, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
We’ve culled a few pointers from the National Safety Council to keep you and your family safe this school year:
- Safety starts with you. Make sure you and your children buckle up every time they get in a vehicle, and take care to share the road with buses, pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Make sure your kids have the tools they need to succeed. Make sure that backpacks fit properly and aren’t too heavy (no more than 10% of your child’s weight). Reflective straps can help make your child more visible to bus drivers and other motorists.
- Every three minutes in the US, a child is treated for a sports-related concussion. Don’t be a victim; know the signs and symptoms of concussion and seek professional medical attention when they arise. No symptom is too small; traumatic brain injury can last a lifetime.
- Talk to your kids about school bus safety. Statistically, riding a bus is safer than riding in a car or walking, but common sense still abides. Make sure your kids know to be aware of their surroundings when entering or exiting a bus, and get to know your child’s bus driver from day one.
- Lastly, and most importantly, HEADS UP, PHONES DOWN. If your kids are of driving age, this is the most important message you can send, but practice what you preach. Using a cellphone while driving is as or more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. Kids who are paying attention to their surroundings instead of their phones are safer in any situation.
Keeping your family healthy and safe is your number one priority. When accidents happen, the number one priority of everyone at Rocky McElhaney Law is to get your family back to normal as quickly as possible. When you or your loved ones are injured because of someone else’s negligent behavior, we fight for you. Contact the experienced Nashville personal injury attorneys at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm by calling 615.246.5549, visiting our offices in Nashville, Gallatin, or Knoxville, or filling out our contact form. We’re here when you need us.