This week, thousands of students from across the Tulsa area will begin another fun and exciting year back at school. Thursday, August 20th was the first day of classes for Tulsa Public Schools, which means that parents, teachers, and administrators will be working overtime to make sure that every student gets to class in a safe and timely manner.
Elementary and Middle School Students
Thousands of Tulsa parents send their young children to school every morning on a public school bus. Statistically, school busses are the safest method of transportation for delivering students to and from school, but they also present safety risks that must be addressed with kids before the start of every school year.
Due to their size compared to large school busses, it can be difficult for both bus drivers and other motorists to see children when they are entering or exiting a bus. School busses are equipped with flashing lights that let other cars know to stop and allow students to cross, but it is still important for parents to impart the following school bus safety tips to their children:
- Do not enter or exit the bus until it has come to a complete stop.
- Use handrails whenever getting on or getting off the bus.
- If your child needs to cross the street when getting off the bus, tell them to walk 5 or 6 big steps in front of the bus before crossing to make sure the driver can see them.
- Before crossing the street, check for cars by looking left, right, then left again.
- For drivers, pay attention to flashing yellow and red lights on the road. Flashing yellow lights indicate that you are entering a school zone, and should reduce your speed to 15mph. If a school bus has displayed flashing red lights, come to a complete stop and wait for the bus to drive on after all students have exited.
High School Students
By the time some students have reached their second and third years of high school, they may begin driving themselves to class. While this is a liberating and exciting time for young drivers, it is also the most dangerous. Tragically, motor vehicle accidents are the number one killer of 16 to 19-year-olds in the U.S. According to the CDC, drivers aged 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely to be fatally injured in a car accident than drivers over the age of 20.
For parents of young and inexperienced drivers, it is vital to explain to them the dangers they will face on the road and to impart the proper driver safety habits at an early age. Here are some important tips for young motorists that will be driving themselves to school for the first time this year:
- Buckle Up: “Seatbelts Save Lives” is not just a popular driver safety phrase, it is also an undeniable fact. According to the NHTSA, seatbelts saved an estimated 12,000 lives in 2013 alone. In addition, 45% of drivers that were fatally injured in crashes were not wearing their seatbelt at the time of the accident.
- Slow Down: Speeding is a notorious problem among young drivers, young men in particular. According to the NHTSA, among drivers that were fatally injured in traffic accidents, a whopping 35% of 15 to 20-year-old men were found to be speeding at the time of the accident.
- Never Drink and Drive: Even though teenaged drivers are not old enough to legally purchase alcohol, this, unfortunately, does not stop many young drivers from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. In 2013, 24% of young drivers that were fatally injured in car accidents had a BAC higher than the legal limit of .08 g/dL.
Click here for more resources about how to safely and properly prepare your young driver for the responsibilities of operating a car.
At Graves McLain, Tulsa Personal Injury law firm, we want to wish every Tulsa-area student the best of luck during the upcoming school year. Our attorneys and staff would also like to remind everyone to stay safe and be responsible when walking, biking, or driving to school.
At Graves McLain, we have seen firsthand the damage and tragedy that can result from both car and pedestrian traffic accidents. Unfortunately, when students and teachers begin their daily commute to school, it increases the likelihood of serious car and pedestrian accidents.
Because of this, we at Graves McLain want to compile a list of resources and safety tips that will help make back-to-school season safe and have fun for both students and parents.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car, pedestrian, truck, or any other type of serious accident that was not your fault, call the experienced Tulsa Personal Injury and Car Accident lawyers of Graves McLain right away. Our attorneys represent victims and families throughout the Tulsa area that were hurt through no fault of their own.
If your back-to-school season has been affected by someone else’s negligent behavior, call us today at 918-659-6600. When you call, you will speak with an experienced Tulsa Personal Injury lawyer absolutely FREE. We will provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation and help you understand the details of your case.
Your case and your injuries are serious. At Graves McLain, we treat them that way. Call today, and remember, at Graves McLain, you will never pay an attorney’s fee unless we achieve a recovery for you.
Graves McLain – Serious Lawyers for Serious Injuries.