Every fall, over 55 million children across the United States head back to school. With 13 percent of those children typically walking or biking to their classes, AAA (American Automobile Association) warns drivers to be especially vigilant for pedestrians before and after school hours. The afternoon hours are particularly dangerous – over the last decade, nearly one in four child pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Launched in 1946, AAA’s “School’s Open – Drive Carefully” awareness campaign was created as a way to help reduce child pedestrian fatalities and injuries. AAA’s yearly campaign alerts motorists to the special risks to school-age children from motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of death for children from five to fourteen years old. The campaign started September 1st and runs through October 14th.
Here are several recommendations from AAA regarding ways drivers can help keep kids safe:
- Slow down
- Come to a complete stop
- Eliminate distractions
- Reverse responsibly
- Watch for bicycles
- Talk to your children about safety
Many states and local school districts are partnering with AAA on this campaign to bring more awareness to their area.