The hustle and bustle of the first days of the new school year can get a little crazy. Kids are racing to see their friends, buses are crisscrossing the area picking up and dropping off students and hurried parents are trying to drop their kids off before they have to head to work. Paying attention often goes by the wayside.

This is why it’s more important than ever to practice extreme caution around school zones and neighborhoods.

The National Safety Council warns that more children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location. That’s why they ask that drivers:

    • Don’t double park because it blocks visibility
    • Don’t load or unload children across the street from schools
    • Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at school
    • Put down cell phones and other mobile devices

Other safety tips to prevent auto-pedestrian injuries around schools include:

    • Not blocking crosswalks when stopped at a red light or making a turn forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of traffic
    • Always stopping for school crossing guards
    • Using extra caution to look out for children at bus stops, school zones, playgrounds and parks and in all residential areas
    • Never passing a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
    • Remembering that pedestrians have the right of way

And to prevent distracted walking and texting accidents, students are reminded to keep their head up and phone down and:

    • Never walk while texting or talking on the phone
    • Always move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk to text
    • Never cross the street while using an electronic device
    • Do not walk with headphones on
    • Be aware of their surroundings
    • Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available; if a child must walk on the street, he or she should face oncoming traffic
    • Look left, right, then left again before crossing the street
    • Cross only at crosswalks

Remember, the first days of school can be a dangerous time for excited students. Safety experts stress that we all need to slow down near school zones, wear seatbelts, leave early so we aren’t rushing and never drive distracted (texting, eating or drinking, horsing around with passengers or adjusting the radio or adjusting the navigation system).


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or

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