Back to school is fun for both kids and parents, but it’s not without its stressors. While no one wants to think about their child being injured, making considerations and taking precautions can go a long way in preventing accidents and keeping kids safe.
As your kiddos head back to class, it can be helpful to know the most common types of back to school injuries and how to avoid them. In the event that your child is injured in or near their school, it’s essential to know their rights – and yours – in the state of Texas.
Back to School Safety Statistics
Starting a new school year is exciting, but it’s important to note that back to school presents fresh hazards and risks. While there are many factors to consider, pedestrian accidents are one of the most serious and common causes of back to school injuries.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, in the United States:
- More than 40 kids a day are hit by a vehicle while walking
- 15,000 children are injured each year in pedestrian accidents
- 1 in 4 high school students crosses the street while distracted
- Crossing somewhere other than an intersection accounts for more than 70% of child pedestrian deaths
- Sidewalks can reduce pedestrian crashes by nearly 90%
Many children walk to and from school, and it’s a generally safe habit. But hurried drivers, distracted motorists, and hectic school zones can all pose threats to children while walking or riding their bikes. Luckily, reminding your kids to stay vigilant can help ensure their safety.
Types of Back to School Accidents
A school is a place where kids should feel and be safe. Unfortunately, when you put children, excitement, playground equipment, and traffic in a single location, accidents are bound to happen. Below are some of the most common back to school accidents.
Most young children spend the entire first half of their day looking forward to recess. It’s a time to release pent-up energy, have fun, and connect with friends. But playgrounds can be dangerous, as every parent knows.
Common playground hazards include old or malfunctioning equipment, falling from the monkey bars, injuries from kids piling on a slide or using a slide improperly, and unsafe surfaces under playground equipment. If your child was injured in a playground accident, our premises liability lawyers can help determine the next steps.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are common near schools. According to the Transportation Research Board, 25,000 children are injured annually while walking to and from school. If your child was hurt in a pedestrian accident, GreeningLaw can help. We specialize in personal injury cases, including auto accidents, bike accidents, and pedestrian accidents.
Common causes of pedestrian accidents that involve children include speeding, reckless driving, and distracted driving. If a driver engaged in these behaviors and injured your child, they could be held liable in the state of Texas.
School Bus Accidents
If your child rides the bus, the driver is responsible for their safety. But school buses have unique hazards of their own: They’re crowded, noisy, chaotic, and distracting. Though most bus drivers are seasoned pros, school buses get into accidents like any other vehicle. If your child was injured in a school bus accident, call Greening Law today to learn about your rights.
For your part, you can help increase school bus safety by observing certain protocols. Sharing the road with school buses means observing the following etiquette:
- Never pass a school bus from behind
- All traffic must stop if lights are flashing or STOP arm is extended
- 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children exiting and entering
- Be extra alert around school buses – children aren’t as careful or aware as adults
- Watch for students crossing to board the bus – on or off a crosswalk
How to Stay Prepared This Back to School Season
The Phone Can Wait
One of the biggest dangers facing kids and teens is distraction from their phones. Whether your kids are walking, riding their bikes, or driving, looking at their phones for even a few seconds can spell disaster. While you can’t be with your child every second of the day, you can stress to them just how dangerous it is to check their phones at the wrong time.
Practice Makes Perfect
Whether your child is learning how to safely navigate a crosswalk or this is their first year behind the wheel, the adage rings true: Practice makes perfect. Help your child prepare for a safe school year by taking them through the motions.
Walk or ride to school with your child before the school year begins and point out anything that seems like a safety hazard. Offer tips and guidance for how to maximize safety and minimize risk. Remind your child that device usage while walking or driving can have disastrous results.
Most kids aren’t naturally cautious or careful. It’s in their nature to be excitable and impulsive because they haven’t yet learned the consequences. But your guidance and instruction can leave a big impression and equip them to navigate back to school safely and confidently.
You can help young pedestrians and bicyclists stay safe with the following:
- Teach them bike etiquette like where to ride and how to come to a complete stop before crossing the road
- Supply children with brightly colored jackets, vests, or streamers on their backpacks to help make them more visible
- Suggest walking their bike across the street, especially for younger riders
- Teach young bike riders to always keep an eye out for opening car doors
- Show bicyclists how to use hand signals when turning
Our Personal Injury Lawyers Are Ready to Help
GreeningLaw, P.C. is ready to fight for justice for your family if you have been impacted by a back to school accident. As one of Texas’s most recognized personal injury law firms, we have the experience and expertise to hold negligent parties accountable.
At GreeningLaw, we treat each case with the same dedication we would extend to our own family, bringing everything in our power to bear to ensure that our clients get the compensation they deserve.
Contact us 24/7 to schedule a free consultation. In that consultation, we will ask about details surrounding your case, discuss possible compensation you may receive, and suggest the best course of action. And, because our attorneys work on a contingency basis, you don’t pay a dime unless we win your case.