Back to School Safety

Kids across the country are heading back to school this month, so it’s a good time to remind them (especially the younger ones) of safety measures to take as they travel to and from their school. An average of 131 fatalities from school-transportation-related accidents happen each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Here are some back to school safety tips to help your children:

If your kids ride the bus, teach them the four elements of S.A.F.E. bus conduct as outlined by the NHTSA:

    • Stay five steps away from the curb.
    • Always wait for the bus driver to tell you when to board.
    • Face forward after finding a seat on the bus.
    • Exit the bus when it stops, look left-right-left, and take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.
  • If your kids walk:
    • Remind them to always use the sidewalk, or, if no sidewalk is available, use the edge of the street and face traffic.
    • Walking to school is a time to stay focused; put away electronic devices.
    • Don’t use headphones, which could distract from the sound of a vehicle.
    • Use crosswalks when possible and look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.
    • Don’t step out to the street from between parked cars
  • If your kids bike to school:
    • Make sure they have a well-fitted helmet.
    • Cycling kids should ride with the flow of traffic and follow traffic signs and signals.
    • Make sure they understand the rules of the road and can use the proper hand signals.

The back-to-school season affects adults as well! Give yourself extra time in the morning to accommodate the delay caused in area school zones and practice these safety tips!


  • Respect the flashing lights! School zones have posted, reduced speed limits during peak pedestrian times. Watch your speed when the lights are flashing and yield to pedestrians.
  • Stay at least 10 feet back in either direction from a stopped school bus with flashing lights! It’s illegal in every state to pass a bus while it is stopped for loading or unloading children.
  • Don’t block crosswalks while waiting at a red light or making a turn.
  • Take extra precautions in the immediate neighborhood around schools, parks, and playgrounds, where kids may be walking with less adult supervision and no crossing guards available.
  • A little patience goes a long way. Yield the right of way to the pedestrian, even if it’s rightfully yours. Little kids get confused and will sometimes walk where and when they should not.


  • Young bicyclists don’t always know or follow the rules of the road! Leave ample room between your car and child cyclists and be prepared for unpredictable movement.
  • Check your side mirrors for cyclists and pedestrians before opening your car door.
  • Young bicyclists tend to dart out from driveways or between cars, so be cautious when driving through residential areas.
  • Pay special attention to oncoming bicyclists while you are navigating a left turn and wait for them to pass you. Also, when navigating a right turn, watch for bicyclists behind you who may also be turning or riding straight through the intersection. Children are not consistent about using proper hand signals!

You can find more back to school safety tips from the National Safety Council and!