Children should walk, drivers should be careful

After the school vacation ends, chaos will prevail in many places in front of schools and kindergartens. The reason for this is that many parents lead their children to the school gate or to the kindergarten entrance. There are speed violations, parking rules are ignored, and children are often not properly secured and go out on the side of the road instead of on the sidewalk. Maneuvers in a dense crowd of vehicles exacerbate the disorientation and put children and other road users at risk.

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The parents mean well, and they want to protect their offspring from the dangers of road traffic and endangerment with their behaviour. An assessment of traffic accidents involving children up to 14 years of age from 2015 to 2019 by the Federal Institute for Highway Research (BASt) shows that serious accidents involving children as pedestrians or cyclists are declining overall. However, the number of seriously injured children in the car rose. One reason for this may be that children are brought to the destination more often by car.

Children drive 17 kilometers every day

Figures from the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) also support this thesis. According to DGUV statistics on school accidents reported when riding a car, there were nearly 2,500 reported accidents among schoolchildren aged 6 to 14 in 2017, 1,800 in 2018 and 2,300 in 2019 The numbers have increased over the past two years before (2020:1366; 2021:1346).

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Homeschooling can have an impact in reducing accidents here. According to BASt, young children in particular were significantly less likely to walk. On the national average, each child walked and cycled one kilometer per day. On the other hand, motorists traveled an average of 17 kilometers per day. According to the assessment of BASt, the risk of a car accident is especially high in rural areas and small towns.

DGUV recommends going to school primarily on foot or by bicycle, depending on the age of the school child. Many municipalities have a school road map in which the best and safest route can be determined individually. The shortest path is not always the best option. If, for example, trails must be crossed, the zebra crossing should always be used.

The way to school should always be the same

Important: you are setting a path that the child will stay on every day. So no one gets lost or gets into unfamiliar and confusing traffic situations. If first graders from the neighborhood have the same route to school, it makes sense for them to walk together. One positive side effect of physical activity: children become independent and learn to behave in a traffic-friendly manner. In addition, a daily walk to school through the fresh air trains fitness and helps increase focus.

An alternative to the original taxis can be called shuttle buses. Here is a group of elementary school kids making their way to school together. At first they are accompanied by adults, and the parents take turns. Like the school bus, there are stops and a fixed route map so that children can join the bus in different sections.

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If you can not do without a car, then parents should not stop right in front of the school, but a little further from it. Then the children walk at least a short distance. Many schools are now setting up pickup and delivery areas. This must be used.

Drivers must be prepared for children who appear suddenly

Motorists should also be especially careful with NBC shooters. This is confirmed by ADAC Sachsen: In the setting of kindergartens and schools, the following generally applies: slow down and be especially farsighted and ready to brake. Parents who drive their youngest to school should always stay close to the school and be careful not to obstruct the next school bus or car. You’ll also have to be prepared for other kids who come across the street or run out of street parking spaces. It is essential that children are properly and age-appropriately secured in the vehicle.

Many accidents occur because first graders cannot see over parked cars due to their small body size and cannot recognize hazards due to their limited field of view and lack of awareness of dangers. They need up to three times more than adults to respond appropriately to dangerous traffic situations. With the correct preparation of children, many accidents can be avoided.

Train under real conditions

Before the first day of school, parents should practice on the way to school with their children under as real conditions as possible and discuss the dangerous points on the road in detail. Huk-Coburg-Versicherung advises parents of abc shooters to teach their children to stop at the curb at a sufficient distance from traffic during school-going practice.

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Children should always make eye contact with the driver before crossing the street. However, since schoolchildren are often confused when it comes to estimating speeds and distances and do not always adhere to the rules, drivers should be careful and prepare to brake, especially in areas with calm traffic and in front of kindergartens and schools.

Always be ready to brake near schools and kindergartens

The following applies to motorists near kindergartens and schools: slow down and be especially far-sighted and ready to brake while driving. Even on a supposedly empty street, you have to reckon with the sudden appearance of children.

Parents who drive their youngest to school should always stay close to the school and be careful not to obstruct the next school bus or car. You’ll also have to be prepared for other kids who come across the street or run out of street parking spaces.

RND / SP-X / dk

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