Kids need to pay attention in addition to drivers to keep everyone safe going back to school

It’s really important for drivers to be paying full attention as students head back to school, but that attention is a two-way street.

“We’re so used to hearing that message about distracted driving,” said Cherie Sage with Safe Kids Kansas. “We all know that message, but what we’re actually seeing is an increase in the number of teenagers that are being hit by cars, because they are distracted by their technology.”

It’s not just about being tall enough to see any more.

“It used to be you worried mostly about those like five to ten year old children, teaching them how to cross safely,” said Sage. “Statistically, we’ve actually seen a shift in our most at-risk group. It’s those teens. If you think your kids are too old to get that conversation before school about how to be a safe pedestrian, they’re not.”

If your kid gets on a bus, you should be sure they know what to do, too.

“We want to practice things with kids so they know what to do,” said Sage. “You want to walk with your kids to the bus stop. Wait with them until it arrives, if at all possible. If not, make sure that you have someone else responsible, an older teen or an adult that can be there with the kids. They need to stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as that bus approaches.”

If a child must cross the street when getting on or off of a bus, they need to do it in front of the bus and far enough in front that the bus driver can see them crossing. Also, if you’re driving and you see a bus, be prepared for kids to be in the area and slow down.