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Back to School Safety Tips: Protecting Children on the Road

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Posted on August 8, 2023

Prioritizing Pedestrian Safety While Going Back to School

In Tampa, Florida, it’s time to go back to school! As the new school year approaches, it’s essential to emphasize the importance of pedestrian safety, particularly for children and young adults.

Accidents involving pedestrians in Tampa are alarmingly common and can have devastating consequences. Pedestrian safety should be a top priority for everyone, whether you’re a student, a parent, or a driver.

As pedestrians, we all share the responsibility of taking proactive measures to ensure our safety on the road. By staying alert, following traffic rules, and adopting safe practices, we can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and protect ourselves and others.

Common Factors that Lead to Car Accidents Involving Pedestrians

Tragically, accidents involving pedestrians are all too common in many communities. Here are factors that commonly lead to accidents in Tampa, Florida.

Distracted Walking / Pedestrians on Phones

Pedestrians glued to their phones or other devices while walking can be more susceptible to accidents, as they may not notice traffic signals, oncoming vehicles, or potential hazards. Listening to music loudly through headphones can also be hazardous as it makes pedestrians less likely to hear horns, sirens, and other sounds meant to alert them of a potentially dangerous situation.

Distracted Driving

Drivers distracted by their phones, navigation systems, or other factors may not notice pedestrians crossing the road.


Crossing the road outside designated crosswalks or ignoring traffic signals can surprise drivers, leading to an accident.

Driving Over the Speed Limit

Drivers exceeding speed limits are less likely to be able to stop quickly enough if pedestrians cross the road unexpectedly. It’s especially important to honor the reduced speed limit in school zones.

Reduced Visibility Due to Darkness or Weather Conditions

Poorly lit streets, especially during dusk and dawn, can make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians, increasing the risk of accidents. Fog, rain, snow, and other weather conditions can also reduce visibility, leading to poorer reaction times by drivers.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time, posing significant dangers to pedestrians.

How to Improve Pedestrian Safety Before Going Back to School

As students head back to school, pedestrian safety becomes even more critical. Young pedestrians are particularly vulnerable, as they may not fully grasp the potential dangers of busy streets or understand traffic rules. To return to school safely, we must educate students on pedestrian safety and teach them good habits:

Always Use Crosswalks and Look Both Ways Before Crossing

Teach children to use crosswalks when crossing the road, and explain the significance of looking both ways before stepping onto the street.

Be Careful when Getting Off the School Bus

Remind students about the importance of waiting for the school bus at designated stops and waiting for the driver to signal that it is safe before crossing in front of the bus.

Avoid Distracted Walking

Students should put away their electronic devices while walking to be more aware of their surroundings and avoid potential accidents and hazards.

Safety in Numbers

Walking in groups with friends can enhance visibility and increase accountability, ensuring the children are more cautious while crossing roads.

Set a Good Example as a Parent or Guardian

Parents and caregivers should demonstrate safe pedestrian behavior when accompanying children, serving as role models for responsible road use.

Practice Safe Driving Habits

Remind drivers to be extra cautious in school zones, near bus stops, and around pedestrian-heavy areas. Slowing down and paying close attention can make all the difference.


Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility that affects everyone in the community. As we prepare to send students back to school, it is essential to prioritize pedestrian safety education and awareness.

By recognizing the common factors that lead to accidents involving pedestrians, we can take proactive steps to mitigate risks and protect ourselves and others on the road.

As the new school year begins, let’s collectively make an effort to promote pedestrian safety and safe driving habits.

Whether you are a student, parent, or driver, remember that everyone can make a significant impact by adhering to traffic rules, staying alert, and ensuring safe practices.

Together, we can create a safer environment for pedestrians, not only during the back-to-school season but all year round.