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Lesson 1 in the Tennessee school year: Stay safe

Classes are back in session in Knox County, Tennessee. Your child went back to school with a fresh haircut, new shoes and a backpack filled with supplies.

The biggest need kids have this time of year, though, is a talk with you that covers just how they can stay safe to and from school. It’s never too late to remind them of the rules of the road, whether they walk to school, ride a bike or take the bus. Cars in the school zone present a daily danger to youngsters.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA), in the span between 2006 and 2015, about 300 students 18 and younger died in crashes related to getting to and from school.

While the school bus is the safest form of transportation, dangers remain. Here are some tips from the NHTSA, which advises parents to teach children to “always play it SAFE”:

  • Stay five steps away from the curb.
  • Always wait for the bus driver to tell you when to board.
  • Face forward after finding a seat on the bus.
  • Exit the bus when it stops, look left-right-left, and take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.

While walking to school, younger children should be accompanied by an adult. For children old enough to walk with friends, remind them of the following:

  • Walk on the sidewalk, and if there isn’t one, walk facing traffic and as far from the street as possible.
  • Pay attention at all times and don’t be distracted by friends or phones.
  • Use crosswalks.
  • Look to the left, then right, then left.

Kids who ride their bikes should follow these rules:

  • Always wear a helmet and fasten it.
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic and stay in the bike lane, where available.
  • Never use their phones or electronics while riding. Stay focused.

The new school year is always filled with promise and can be a lot of fun for kids. But safety has to be the No. 1 priority. Should the unthinkable happen and your child is injured in an accident with a vehicle while getting to or from school, you might need advice from a Tennessee attorney on how to proceed to recoup any medical bills or losses your family might suffer.

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