Safe Walking and Bicycling Tips for School-Age Children


Now that school is back in session, the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to remind parents and children about the importance of staying safe while riding bicycles and walking in their neighborhoods. International Walk and Bike to School Day is on October 10, 2018, and now is, therefore, the perfect time for the reminder. International Walk and Bike to School Day is an opportunity to help young people learn to be safe as they walk or bike to and from school.

According to NHTSA, in 2016, 5,987 pedestrians and 840 bicyclists suffered fatal injuries in motor vehicle collisions. 18% of all deadly crashes in 2016 involved pedestrians and bicyclists and 12% were under the age of 20. Unlike occupants of cars, walkers, runners, and bikers have very little protection. It is therefore incumbent on drivers to be aware of their surroundings and keep an eye out for people who are walking, exercising or taking a leisurely stroll, especially children and young adults.

International Walk and Bike to School Day gives us all a great opportunity to talk about walking and bicycling safety with the school age children in your family.

It is the position of NHSTA that walkers under the age of 10 should always be accompanied by an adult or other responsible person in order to make sure that the child is safe during the entire walk.  NHTSA offers the following tips for all walkers:

Keep your eyes on the road and never look at your phone while walking.

Always walk on the sidewalk and if you have no choice but to walk on the street make sure to walk facing traffic.

Only cross a street at the corner or a marked crosswalk.

Do not cross a street until all traffic has cleared and only do so after first stopping and looking left-right-left.

Use pedestrian crossing buttons and wait to cross as instructed by the signal.

Do not roughhouse, play ball, or push or shove near traffic.

NHTSA has the following tips for safe bicycling:

Wear an approved helmet that fits properly and always buckle the chin strap.

Ride in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic and make sure to stop at all stop signs and traffic control signals.

When available, use streets with bike lanes, or roadways that are less traveled or have lower speed limits.

Be aware of your surroundings and be cautious when crossing streets.

Never ride a bicycle while using headphones and never use your cell phone while riding a bicycle.

Parents should share these walking and bicycling safety tips with all students in their family and help them plan the safest route for their trip to and from school.

The lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., are concerned for the safety of our friends and neighbors and their children walking and biking on the streets, roads and highways in Berks County and Schuylkill County and throughout Pennsylvania and serve auto, truck and motorcycle accident victims and their families in Reading, PA, Pottsville, PA, and throughout Eastern and Central Pennsylvania.

From the desk of Adam K. Levin, Esquire.

Latest Posts