Drivers: Be Cautious of Children Walking and Biking to School
Photo courtesy of Royal Air Force Lakenheath
LANSING - With a new school year underway, the Insurance Alliance of Michigan wants to remind drivers to be cautious of children biking and walking to school.
“Kids tend to appear just out of nowhere, so drivers need to be very cautious and aware, especially during the morning commute hours,” said Peter Kuhnmuench, who is the Executive Director of the Insurance Alliance of Michigan. “There are more distractions than ever before for drivers on the road, which is why it’s critically important to watch for children as they travel to and from school."
To ensure that drivers are not distracted while driving, Kuhnmuench said the Insurance Alliance of Michigan suggests that people turn off their phone while driving so they can concentrate on the road.
While it’s important for drivers to be aware of children biking and walking to school, it’s also important that children are aware of drivers.
“Staying on the sidewalk is the number one rule,” Kuhnmuench said. “Cross at the intersection, cross with the lights, don’t cross in the middle of the block, take precautions and be aware and cautious.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly 131 people die every year due to transportation-related crashes. Fatal car accidents are typically more common from 6-8 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. when children are traveling to and from school.
Another way children can bike and walk safely to school is by walking the route with their parents prior to school starting.
“It doesn’t hurt to have a dry run the Saturday before school,” Kuhnmuench said. “Maybe walk with your children; make sure they take a safe route."
Kuhnmuench said children traveling to and from school safely is an issue that should be focused on more.
“I think, in the busy hustle of getting people to school, it probably gets overlooked,” Kuhnmuench said. “Not all parents have the luxury of walking their kids to school. Just like an adult, we need to be reminded of the circumstances we're presented. We need to be aware and prepared."