Orlando Auto Accident Resource Center

Frequently Asked Questions About Back To School Safety

Here are the answers to the questions that we hear the most regarding back to school safety in Orlando and the surrounding areas. If you have any additional questions please feel free to call our office any time at 407-490-1271.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, what is the safest form of transportation for children going to school?

Students are eight times safer riding on a school bus compared to any other form of transportation to school, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, what is the safest form of transportation for children going to school?

Students are eight times safer riding on a school bus compared to any other form of transportation to school, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Which age group is most likely to be involved in accidents on their way to school?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most incidents involve 5-7 year olds who are struck by passing cars or by the school bus itself. It is important to teach your children to stay alert and safe around traffic while on their way to school.

What is considered to be the most dangerous time of day to be in and around a school zone?

The most dangerous time is the after-school period from 3-4 p.m. According to the AAA, this is when more school-age pedestrians are killed by motorists than at any other time of day.

How do I know if my child’s backpack is too heavy?

Adult-sized backpacks are made for adults, not children. Make sure you have the appropriate sized backpack for your child’s body size. Most stores and catalogs will list this information in the product description. A good rule of thumb to remember is when the shoulder straps are adjusted so they fit snug, the bottom portion of the backpack should be approximately two inches above your child’s waist. Your child’s backpack should also weigh no more than 15% of his or her body weight. For a 70 pound child, if their backpack is over 14 pounds it is too heavy.

What are some safety tips to remember when driving through school zones?

  • Drive distraction-free: Cell phones, loud music, eating breakfast and make-up touchups can all take your eyes off the road. According to the AAA, taking your eyes off the road for just 2 seconds doubles your chances of getting involved in an accident.
  • Stop means STOP: In a shocking study, more than a third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones and neighborhoods. This is the time of year when kids are walking and riding their bikes to school, so motorists must use extra caution.
  • ALWAYS stop for Buses. Drivers must always stop when behind a bus that has its lights flashing or its red lights on. When approaching a stopped school bus with flashing red lights from the opposite direction, drivers must stop if they are on a two-lane road.

What are some safe driving tips to remember with children heading back to school this month?

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones.
  • Look for children when approaching an intersection, median or crosswalk.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Watch for children especially during the morning and after-school hours.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

What are some school bus safety tips for children?

  • If your children are riding the bus to school, stress the importance of getting to the bus stop a few minutes early.
  • While waiting for the bus, remind your child to wait calmly and watch and listen for traffic.
  • Avoid playing games, running or pushing other children while at the bus stop.
  • Never approach the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver of the bus signals you to get on.
  • Always walk in front of the bus where the driver can see you. Make direct eye contact with the bus driver. He or she will signal when it is okay to board.
  • Always buckle the lap/shoulder seatbelts when riding on the bus.
  • Do not move around on the bus. Stay seated at all times and keep the aisle clear.
  • Always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or the school building.
  • Never try and pick up something that has dropped while exiting the bus.
  • A general rule is for students to stay at least 10 feet from the sides of the bus and NEVER walk behind the bus.
  • Check that your child’s backpack does not have long straps attached to it. These along with drawstrings and loose fitting clothing can become caught on bus handrails and doors.
  • Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or the school building.

Do drivers on the opposite side of the highway have to stop for a school bus that has their flashing lights and signals on?

On a highway divided by a raised barrier or an unpaved median at least 5 feet wide, drivers moving in the opposite direction do not have to stop for the bus (painted lines or pavement markings are not considered barriers). However, motorists should slow down and watch for children loading or unloading from the bus.

What are the penalties in Florida for passing a stopped school bus?

Drivers who improperly pass a stopped school bus commit a moving violation. Penalties for passing a stopped school bus include:

  • Serving 120 community service hours in a trauma center or hospital;
  • Participating in a victim’s impact panel session, or if such a panel does not exist, attending a DHSMV approved driver improvement course;
  • Suspension of license for a minimum of one year; and
  • $1,500 fine.

What is the cause of most playground-related injuries?

The majority of playground injuries are due to falls from equipment.

Where do most of these injuries occur?

Most of these injuries occurred at school on monkey bars and other climbing-type equipment.

What parts of the body are most commonly injured from these playground-related accidents?

For children younger than five years of age, the head and face are most commonly injured.

What are considered safe / adequate surfaces on a school playground?

Strangulation is the leading cause of playground equipment-related fatalities. This is the result of entanglement or entrapment, and accounts for nearly 56 percent of deaths. Falls to the surface are responsible for an additional 20 percent of deaths.

Do boys or girls have a higher risk of sustaining playground related-injuries?

Girls had a slightly higher risk of sustaining playground related-injuries than boys.

All It Takes Is A Little Extra Time and Caution To Keep Our Roads Safe During The School Year

We urge everyone to follow the back to school safety tips found on this page. We want our Central Florida roads to be safe for our children. If you have questions or need help after a loved one has been injured in an accident please call us right now at 407-490-1271.

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Copyright © Michael T. Gibson, P.A. 2019