Back to School Safety for Every Driver
Goodbye, Summer! Hello, Fall. San Antonio-area district schools are now officially back in session, and SOGO is here with a back-to-school safety refresher for parents and non-parents alike. The first-day jitters have all been calmed, and every parent is breathing a sigh of relief that Fall routines are finally here, but aside from all the paperwork and hustle of new beginnings exists the reality that American schools are spending a significant amount of money and time on school safety, so we as citizens should take a good look at the measures we can take to help. SafeKids Worldwide cited that 1 in 3 drivers exhibited unsafe dropoff and pickup conduct, while also citing that 80% of students exhibited unsafe crosswalk behavior and distracted walking. Statistics like these demonstrate that the need for safer communities is imperative.
Taking simple, but important precautions can help lower statistics of dangerous and even fatal accidents that happen in school-related environments, so brush out the cobwebs and take note of these simple ways to be a safer adult.
In the Car
Driving-related accidents are unfortunately at an all-time high, with the increased use of technology as primary blame. It should go without saying, but it’s worth remembering that Texas State School Zone Law, under HB 347, prevents using a cell phone when driving through an active school crossing zone. We know you’re just updating Waze to rack up your fake internet points, but you’re really just risking the safety of students (and yourself) when breaking these rules. Stay off your phone, and encourage your own children to do the same. Staying aware of the traffic and children around you can prevent costly tickets, or worse, medical expenses. Common sense (and the law) tells us not to pass a stopped school bus, to watch for kids exiting, and to keep a safe distance from moving and still school vehicles.
In popular culture, school has not necessarily been the place that kids feel completely comfortable and worry-free. The addition of technology has only made it easier to pull off bullying behavior, but you can take precautions to prevent, or lessen, this more prevalent activity. If you’ve got kids, check their phones and let them know that you’re reading their words to ensure they are not participating in bullying behavior. Share the consequences of bullying, and the reality of not being able to take back information you put in a public forum or the internet. If you think you know a kid who is being bullied, open up the conversation and talk to them about it. According to the U.S. StopBullying Campaign, kids who are bullied can experience depression and anxiety during their childhood that can stick with them and carry into adulthood. While they may be uncomfortable at first, it’s worth mentioning and allowing them an outlet to express frustration and even sadness.
Whether or not you have kids of your own, you can still be on the lookout for suspicious behavior. Many kids walk home from school, even long after the class has been dismissed. If you’re driving and see a child being suspiciously followed, call the police. Sadly, kidnapping and sex trafficking is not an anomaly, even in the best cities like San Antonio. Refresh your kids on the rules of opening the door when an adult isn’t home, or even talking to strangers. It’s Stranger Danger 101, but more and more predators are thinking of creative ways to interact with children, so keep your eyes peeled and stay on top of the news for any strange ongoings in your neighborhood or surrounding areas.
Be a good example.
From every aspect: driving, bullying, and stranger awareness, the best thing we can do for our own kids and ourselves is to model the good behavior we wish to see from them. Whether it’s the way to treat employees, coworkers, or your kids and family, keep an open dialogue and demonstrate how you expect tricky situations to be treated.
School can be stressful for kids, parents, and community members in general, but our expert team is here to help keep you protected. If life happens to you, in a school zone or not, our agents are here to help you protect your greatest assets. From auto insurance, personal life insurance, and business insurance, our agents are experts in placing you in the exact place your business or life needs to be. Contact us for bully-free guidance today.
In case you missed it: “Employee Appreciation Ideas For Every Budget” is helping San Antonio business owners and managers make employees feel valued by small, but meaningful acts of appreciation. A little goes a long way in this department.