• Safety
  • CAUTION:  Children Are Out Of School

    CAUTION:  Children Are Out Of School

    It's June and that means school is out for many kids across the nation. This time of year we like to share the American Automobile Association's (AAA) always useful safety tips for drivers as well as parents, as more kids head outdoors into parks and neighborhoods while on their summer vacation.   

    AAA's Summer Safety Tips

    Here are some safety tips AAA says drivers should consider year round, especially during summer months:

    • Buckle up. Always buckle up, even for short trips. Restrain children in federally approved child safety or booster seats. 
    • Keep it light. Drive with headlights on, even during the day, so that children and other drivers can see you.
    • Slow down. Maintain a 20-30 second visual lead, allowing time to identify unexpected problems and drive defensively.
    • Look out. Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs that children are at play and could dart into the road.
    • Use eye contact. Make eye contact with children who are about to cross the street. Be aware of their next step and be sure to indicate yours.
    • Look for clues. Playgrounds and other areas may indicate children could be in the area.
    • Look both ways. Make sure you are looking for pedestrians and cyclists too, not just vehicles.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website also reminds us to remember to take care when Backing Out and Parking:

    Before you back out of a driveway or parking spot, prevent backovers by walking around your vehicle to check for children running and playing. When using a backup camera, remember to also look over your shoulders. Kids, pets and objects may be out of view but still in the path of your vehicle. When children play, they are often oblivious to cars and trucks around them. They may believe that motorists will watch out for them. Furthermore, every vehicle has a blind zone. As the size and height of a vehicle increases, so does the “blind zone” area. Large vehicles, trucks, SUVs, RVs, and vans are more likely than cars to be involved in backovers. - NHTSA

     

    AAA's Parent Safety Tips

    AAA also recommends that parents take extra safety measures during summer months as well:

    • Wear a helmet. Make sure your children wear their helmets. Using a helmet is the single most effective countermeasure available to reduce head injuries and fatalities resulting from bike crashes. Bike helmets are 85 to 88 percent effective in preventing head and brain injuries in all types of bike incidents, according to NHTSA.
    • Play in safe areas. Focus on keeping children occupied away from the streets. When possible, keep children within gated areas so they cannot easily dart into the street. Use the portion of the yard furthest from the street or take children to the track at a local high school where they can ride their bikes out of harm’s way.
    • Provide responsible supervision. Studies show that children under the age of 12 have not developed the ability to judge driver behavior and often are not tall enough for drivers to see.  Have a responsible sibling or adult watching your child at all times.

    As we head into the hottest months of the year, we also want to share a reminder of the dangers of kids and pets left in hot cars. If you see a child or pet unattended in a hot vehicle please call 911.  Learn more about heatstroke on the NHTSA website here.

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    Photo Credit: NHTSA image library.