Measuring Safety This Back-to-School Season
This back-to-school season, you may wonder how to keep your child safe both in and out of the classroom. With so many options to consider, it’s not surprising that homeschool enrollment has increased 46% since 2019. However, one facet of school safety that often goes overlooked is the daily commute.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),183,000 children aged 14 and younger were injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2019, and car safety continues to be a hot topic for parents. So, if you’re considering whether the manner in which your kids are getting to school is the safest option, here is some information to consider.
Walking and Biking to School
In urban areas (or neighborhoods in close proximity to a school), families may choose to walk or bike with their children instead of driving. There are many benefits to this, especially where health and exercise are concerned, but it doesn’t come without some hazards.
Since you are not in a motor vehicle, there is not a protective barrier in the event of a crash. Furthermore, when some areas don’t have fully built-out sidewalks, pedestrians may be forced to walk along the road—putting them in danger of a distracted motorist.
However, NHTSA data shows that this is not necessarily the most harmful. In 2019, only 40 pedalcyclist children died as a result of a crash and about 7,000 were injured. That being said, about 27% of weekday crashes occurred between the hours of 3 and 6 pm, while 20% occurred between 6 and 9 am. Child pedestrian crashes, however, showed an increase with 181 deaths and 8,000 injuries. Two-thirds of these weekday incidents occurred between noon and 9 pm.
Taking the School Bus
For most people, riding the school bus is often considered one of the safest methods of transportation because of how seldom they are involved in collisions. Data from the National Safety Council confirms this, as school bus passengers and drivers have some of the lowest rates of fatality and injury compared to other transportation. In 2019, only 9 school bus passengers and drivers were killed and 6,000 were injured in crashes.
It’s also important to note that school buses are designed with child safety in mind—from the color to the height. Every five years, the National Congress on School Transportation meets to discuss how they can improve bus safety and determine if any changes are needed.
Regardless of how your family is making the back-to-school commute this year, discussions of child safety are important to have at the start of this transition. The team at Bertoldo, Carter, Smith & Cullen wishes you and your family a safe school year!
Bertoldo, Carter, Smith & Cullen is a personal injury law firm based in Las Vegas, protecting the rights of injured individuals since 1985. If you need legal assistance following an injury, call (702) 505-8115 to discuss how we can help you through.