The hours just before and after school are most dangerous for young pedestrians
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- As more than 50 million kids across the United States return to school, drivers are reminded to be vigilant on the roads.
More than 309 child pedestrians were killed and 11,000 injured nationwide in 2014, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA), which urges motorists to be especially watchful during the hours before and after school.
After-school hours are particularly dangerous. Nearly one-third of child pedestrian deaths in the past decade took place between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., the AAA said.
Motorists should obey speed limits, come to a full stop at intersection stop signs, and always stop for loading or unloading school buses, AAA said.
Watch for and obey school safety patrollers. Do not use cellphones or other devices while driving, and avoid other distractions.
The AAA said it's also a good idea to leave early for your destination and to choose a route that avoids school zones and traffic.
If you drive your children to and from school, make sure they use the proper safety seat or lap belt, based on their age and size, the AAA said.
Parents should teach children to be good pedestrians. Kids should only cross streets at corners or marked crosswalks. While walking or crossing streets, they should never listen to music, talk on the phone or play games.
Motorists also need to keep an eye out for children on bicycles. Slow down and leave at least 3 feet of passing distance between your vehicle and the bike. If your child bikes to school, make sure he or she always wears a properly fitted bicycle helmet.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on pedestrian safety.