Back to School Injuries a Concern for Child Pedestrians and Bicyclists Involved in Portland Car Accidents

August is Back to School Safety Month according to Safe Kids USA sso our Portland injury lawyers want to urge parents take a few minutes to review some simple tips to keep children safe as they prepare for the new school year.

We posted previously on our Maine Injury Lawyer Blog that school bus accidents are a common danger that parents should be concerned about as children return to school this fall. Children who don’t ride the big yellow bus are typically close enough to walk or ride a bike to school. Speeders or driver inattention can put children at risk of a pedestrian or bicycle accident in Bangor or Portland.
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Franklin County Emergency Management Agency warn motorists to be alert for the following as school resumes session:

-Crossing guards directing traffic or flashing lights at busy intersections.

-Children who are walking or biking to school.

-Children gathered at the roadside waiting for a bus to pick them up.

-Parents dropping children off in school zones or at day care centers.

-School buses with flashing lights stopping at scheduled intervals to pick children up.

Parents with teen drivers should remind young and inexperienced drivers to:

-Use caution in poor driving conditions.

-Allow plenty of time to travel to school.

-Police officers will be highly visible during peak hours of school commuting so obey all traffic laws and traffic signs.

-Pay attention and keep passengers riding in the vehicle with you to a minimum. Teens’ riding in the car with a teen driver create an unnecessary distraction and is never recommended, especially during the first year after obtaining a license.

Child pedestrians and bicyclists should use the following safety tips provided by the National Safety Council:

-Make yourself visible, especially when walking or biking at night. Wear bright clothes, attach reflectors to your backpack, and keep a light handy either to hold in your hand or to attach to your bike as a headlight.

-Use bike paths or sidewalks whenever they are available. Staying away from speeding cars and distracted drivers can reduce the risk of serious injury.

-Cross the street at intersections and only when it is safe to do so. Making eye contact with the driver or waiting for them to signal can alert you that it is safe to cross.

-Travel to school in groups rather than alone. Form a single line to be courteous to other walkers or bikers.

-Small children under the age of 10 should be accompanied by an adult.

-Never make quick or sudden moves into traffic. Motorists have a difficult time seeing young children, especially when they appear in the street unexpectedly.

Peter Thompson & Associates is experienced in handling child injury cases related to pedestrian or bicycling accidents in Bangor, Portland or throughout Maine. Call for a free no-obligation appointment to discuss your claim at 1-800-804-2004.

Additional Resources:
Spring Increases Risk of Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents in Portland, Bangor, Elsewhere, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, March 13, 2011.

Car Accidents in Portland Frequently Involve Teen Drivers, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, February 22, 2011.