The flood of large numbers of pupils in a short space of time brings an increase in risky road safety situations.
To identify and help to avoid them, at the MAPFRE FOUNDATION we have developed a guide to improve road safety around schools and colleges.
During its compilation we have referred to several studies carried out in the town of Narón near to La Coruña carried out by parents and teachers.
The guide is a collection of measures and recommendations to help minimize the risk of accidents on school runs.
Some of these tips are directed towards the children since they play a crucial part in their own safety. Helping children to understand the risks allows them to avoid many of them by themselves.
- In the first place, before crossing the road it is important to look both ways and then another look in the direction of the oncoming traffic to be sure there are no vehicles too close.
- If a vehicle stops for us on a Zebra Crossing, make eye contact with the driver so they know when we are across.
- When walking as pedestrians always stay on the sidewalk, without playing or running recklessly.
- If using the bus, it’s important to arrive at the bus stop in time and you must never run along side it to try and get it to stop. Before boarding wait until the door is fully open and the driver gives you permission.
- If using a bicycle, remember that a helmet is obligatory at all times, and if travelling in the dark outside of town, a reflective jacket must be worn. (We recommend using a jacket during the day in towns).
We must never forget that road safety must exist in our vehicles too. Use the return to school as good time to ensure that we have everything necessary to transport our children by following some basic advice:
- Children up to 135cms in height must always travel in a child seat or a booster seat.
- Although the use of a child seat is key to the prevention of serious injury in an accident, it’s not all you can do. It is essential that children be seated facing backwards at least for the first 12 months. Once they reach one year old, if possible always sit them facing backwards. Certain seats allow you to do this up to 3 or 4 years of age.
- Children should preferably travel in the back seats or at least as far away as possible from the front and lateral airbags.
En todo caso, no debemos olvidar que la Seguridad Vial también debe estar presente en nuestros vehículos. Aprovechando el comienzo del nuevo curso hay que asegurarse de que tenemos todo lo necesario para llevar adecuadamente a los niños y seguir los consejos básicos:
- Los niños hasta los 1,35 metros de altura deben viajar siempre con la sillita o el asiento elevador más conveniente.
- Aunque utilizar las sillas infantiles es clave para prevenir lesiones graves en caso de accidente, no es la única medida que hay que tomar. Es esencial que los niños vayan sentados en dirección contraria a la marcha al menos durante los doce primeros meses de vida. Una vez cumplido su primer año, continúa siendo conveniente llevarlos con la silla instalada mirando hacia atrás. Algunas sillitas infantiles permiten circular en dicha posición hasta los 3 o 4 años.
- Los niños deben viajar preferentemente en los asientos traseros y, en cualquier caso, lo más alejados posible de los airbags frontales y laterales.
By following this advice you can prevent up to 95% of serious injuries otherwise children may suffer in an accident.
For more information about child restraining systems visit our section on the safest child seat.