Back to school time means busier roads. Get ready for the common signs of back to school:
- A sea of yellow school buses sharing our roads
- A higher volume of children walking on the road
- School zones packed with parents doing pick ups and drop offs
Reduce child pedestrian injury
Drivers need to be cautious and take extra care. As drivers, we can affect pedestrian safety and reduce child pedestrian injury by how we act and react behind the wheel.
Younger children often lack the cognitive and physical skills to make safe decisions.
Did you know?
- In Canada, more children acquire pedestrian-related injuries in the months of September and October than at any other time of year.
- The most frequently reported child pedestrian action that results in injury is crossing at an intersection followed by running onto the road.
Young Drivers of Canada wants to help families safely navigate this busy time of year. This Back to School Checklist has the top 10 safety points to check off for you and your family.
Top 10 back-to-school road safety points:
- Start the conversation: Back to school road safety starts with family conversation. Talk to your kids about the rules of the road. Encourage them to always walk, bicycle or drive safely.
- Text off: Is your child a distracted walker? Encourage your child to keep their head up and be aware of their surroundings. Texting and walking can be dangerous so keep the cell phone safely tucked away and the focus on the road and busy intersections.
- Plan ahead: Always leave plenty of time for you and your family to get to school – running late can cause aggressive driving behaviours.
- Scan the road : Use the ground-viewing technique to scan under parked cars for the feet of children approaching traffic.
- Mind the school bus: Motorists travelling in both directions must stop for a school bus except if the road is divided by a median.
- Patience is key: Drivers need to wait for children to complete their crossing before proceeding. Children can often change their minds.
- Change lanes early: Be vigilant as many kids ride bicycles on the way to and from school. Share the road safely and change lanes early to provide these road users with ample space.
- Reduce speed: Be aware of school zone signage and reduce speed in school zones.
- Get in the zone: If you are driving children to school, drop them off in a safe area away from traffic – most schools have designated drop off zones.
- Honk and communicate: Cover the horn in any doubtful situation so you are ready to warn a child about your presence.