Back to School – Safe Driving

Back to School – Safe Driving

Now that the summer holidays have past and children have returned to their classrooms, drivers must be aware that there will be an increased presence of pedestrians and traffic on the roads. To ensure the safety of these children, drivers must be focused, alert, and vigilant in order to protect them from potential accidents and fatalities.

Over the past few decades, the UK has seen a decrease in child road casualties as a result of road safety campaigns such as The Green Cross Code and the Tufty Club. Nevertheless, these figures have been stagnating in recent years, making it even more important for drivers to be aware and cautious when around areas with children present.

RoSPA[1] reports that:-

  • 1 in 3 of all child pedestrians that are killed or seriously injured are aged 10 – 11 years old
  • 12 to 15 year old boys are nine time more likely to be in an accident when riding a bike that a girl of the same age
  • A quarter of road traffic casualties are 13 to 15 years old
  • Almost half of all accidents that happen on the road occur between 15:00 to 18:00
  • Every month, 1,200 children are injured in a traffic related collisions that happened within 500m of a school

These startling figures emphasise the need for drivers to remain vigilant when driving near schools, particularly during those more hazardous times. Although there is no one single solution to the problem, following some basic safety tips can help reduce the chances of having a traffic collision with a child.

All drivers should pay attention to their speed and drive safely, abide by the speed limits, reduce distractions, and be attentive to all pedestrians.

Advice for Drivers

  • Increase your observations, watch out for children who maybe walking or cycling to school or a park. Children can get easily distracted and excited, which can lead them to lose concentration and become less aware of their surroundings.
  • If you are driving close to schools or parks where children are present, it is imperative that you reduce your speed. At 30mph, it will take a minimum of 23 metres for you to stop your car if a child suddenly runs out.
  • When dropping children off at school, find a safe and sensible place to park. Parking or stopping in the middle of the road or on the pavement is dangerous as often there is not enough space to pedestrian to walk safely on the pavement.
  • Plan - Leave yourself plenty of time to avoid rushing. When we are running late, stress levels escalate which can encourage us to rush, speed and become agitated.

Drivers should always be mindful when driving near schools and take the necessary safety precautions in order to avoid traffic collisions with children and other vulnerable road users. By following the safety tips outlined above, we can help protect everyone and minimise road traffic casualties.