By: Rob Flaherty
By now most, if not all, children and students around the country have been dismissed from their local schools and are excited to be embarking on their summer break. With this in mind, there will be an increase of children and students playing, walking, riding bicycles, skateboarding, going to the neighborhood swimming pools, etc. With the increase in pedestrian activity, operators of motor vehicles must increase their awareness while driving. The likelihood of encountering a child on a bicycle, skateboard, or simply walking/running on or across the roadway is dramatically increased. Whether at work or in our personal lives, we all have a responsibility to drive safely.
The most important thing we can do to ensure that we avoid accidents is to remain focused on driving and reduce your driving speed. When you are in the vicinity of parks, swimming pools, playgrounds, etc., decreasing your speed (even slightly below the posted limit) will give you the best opportunity to recognize a potential hazard and to take evasive actions to avoid a potentially devastating accident.
While you are at home, all parents are encouraged to take 5 minutes and remind their children to exercise caution when engaging in activities that require crossing or riding in the street and ensure they understand the critical nature of knowing how to safely cross roadways and to obey traffic control devices. This means crossing in designated crosswalks when it is appropriate to do so, even if they have to walk a little farther. Additionally, teach them not to step into the roadway between parked vehicles. If they are playing and a ball or other toy goes into the roadway, make sure they understand to stop and look both ways to ensure no traffic is coming BEFORE they retrieve the item. These simple tactics can greatly reduce your child’s chances of being struck by a vehicle.
Enjoy the summer and drive safe!
Rob Flaherty is the Regional VP of Safety & Loss Prevention – Mid Atlantic for eRisk Solutions.