As the Summer in Summit starts to near an end, there will soon be large masses of children walking, being driven or driving to school. As a Summit resident and father of two small children who will eventually commute to school, the topic of back to school safety certainly gives me pause. With that in mind, here are a few facts and tips to bear in mind once school starts:
1- Driving 15 to 20 miles per hour over the speed limit when running late only saves 30 to 40 seconds, due to the short distances most students travel from home to school. While the extra speed rarely keeps a student from being tardy, the added speed can quite possibly lead to wrecks, injuries or death.
a- most traffic crashes occur close to home.
2- According to the Safe Routes to Schools organization, of the leading types of youth pedestrian crashes, 33% are due to dart-outs — entering traffic mid-block, often between parked cars.
a- With that face in mind, always remember to cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
b- Never cross the street against a light, even if you don’t see any traffic coming.
c- Walk your bike through intersections.
d- Walk with a buddy.
3- Always wear your seat belt. Wearing safety belts lowers your risk of injury by 45% in the event of a crash. You are four times more likely to be killed or injured if ejected from the vehicle in a crash.
4- Last but not least, PUT DOWN THE PHONE WHEN DRIVING.
a- The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group – 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. (NHTSA)
b – Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)
So when you hit the road this cool Fall morning in September and are afraid of missing the 1st 5 minutes of Chemistry class, just remember there are always more important facts of life to be focused upon.