Tips for a safe commute to school

Community

Help your child stay safe while traveling to and from school and other activities. Talk about being careful and aware of the surroundings at all times! Parkview Trauma Centers provides these cautions you should discuss with your child.

Walking to school

Traffic and visibility

  • You should walk with a group of people. ALWAYS walk with at least one friend.
  • Let’s choose the safest route for you to walk. We’ll choose a route that has less traffic and fewer intersections where you would have to cross the street.
  • It’s always best to walk on the sidewalks or paths and cross the street at corners using traffic signals and crosswalks. Be sure to look both ways before crossing!
  • Always cross the street with an adult. [This advice is specifically for children under age 10. While each child develops at a unique pace, it can be hard for kids to judge the speed and distance of cars when they are younger than 10.]
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
  • Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Wear brightly colored clothing so it’s easier for drivers to see and avoid you.

Personal safety

  • You should walk with a group of people. ALWAYS walk with at least one friend.
  • If a stranger offers you a ride, say “NO!” and stay far away from that person’s car.
  • Never leave school with a stranger, or go anywhere with a stranger.

Riding your bike

  • Always wear a properly fitted bike helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
  • Try to ride on the sidewalks or on the right, going in the same direction as the traffic.
  • Use appropriate hand signals for turning, braking and stopping.
  • Obey traffic lights and stop signs. Share the Road!
  • Wear brightly colored – or reflective – clothing so it’s easier for drivers to see and avoid you.
     

Some material drawn from National Center for Safe Routes to School, 2015, and Pediatric Safety, 2015.