August 16, 2006
Young Drivers of Canada offers back-to-school tips for drivers
Ottawa, Ontario – With the school year rapidly approaching, Young Drivers of Canada has released a warning for drivers to re-familiarize themselves with safety tips when dropping children at school, and sharing the road with school buses and children.
Young Drivers reports that children aged 10 to 14 have the highest incidence of pedestrian injuries, while among children aged five to nine, pedestrian injuries are tied with motor vehicle injuries as the leading cause of injury-related death. An estimated 56 child pedestrians aged 14 and under die every year in Canada, and 780 are hospitalized with serious injury.
The driver training organization offers the following tips for drivers and parents:
- Know bus rules. Drivers should stop behind a school bus when the upper red lights begin to flash. Motorists travelling in both directions must stop, except if the road is divided by a median.
- Drop children off in designated school drop-off zones. Be aware of CAA School Safety Patrollers who are on duty in and around school areas.
- Slow down in school zones and be aware of child pedestrians. Wait for children to complete their crossing safely.
- Scan under parked cars for the feet of children approaching traffic; they may be completely hidden by a vehicle due to their height.
- Change lanes early to make room for children on bicycles, skateboards or roller blades.
- Children under the age of 13 are safest in the back seat, away from passenger air bags. A booster seat should be used for children weighing between 18 kg and 36 kg (40 to 80 lbs) and less than 145 cm tall (four-foot-nine). The child may be ready to use a seat belt alone once he or she exceeds either one of the criteria.
- Avoid distractions such as using cell phones, eating or drinking, or personal grooming, which affects your driving. Give children items such as books or toys to occupy them, so that your focus is on the road.
For more safety tips, visit www.youngdrivers.com.