Smart (and Safe!) Back-to-School Commuting Tips

As summer ends and schools starts back up, it is important to review your family’s transportation arrangements and plans to ensure a commute that is as safe as possible. Whether your child is a kindergartener who is taking the bus or a high schooler with a new driver’s license, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

School Bus Safety:

School buses are some of the safest modes of transportation around – so long as students board and exit them correctly. If your children will be riding the bus, encourage them to:

  • Stand back from the curb where the driver can see them at all times
  • Approach the bus only when it’s completely stopped
  • Fasten seat belts when they’re available and face forward while the bus is moving
  • Look both ways when crossing the street after exiting the bus

Walking and Biking:

Riding a bicycle and walking to school are great ways to get a little exercise. Anyone who commutes this way should always:

  • Wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and correctly fastened
  • Use hand signaling to alert drivers of intended turns
  • Cross the street at designated lights or with a crosswalk guard
  • Use sidewalks and bike lanes whenever possible

Driving Tips for Everyone:

Car accidents are the leading cause of death among U.S. teens, according to the CDC. Before letting teenagers drive themselves to school, make sure they follow basic safety rules — and if you’re the one driving, model this good behavior for them:

  • Don’t eat or drink while driving
  • Insist everyone buckles up (and for teen drivers, limit their number of passengers)
  • Never use cellphones to text or call while the car is running
  • Observe school zones and watch for pedestrians to avoid injuries and traffic tickets

By embracing and encouraging these habits, we can all help make the roads a little safer.