Back to School Safety for 2020

School Bus Safety Caution SignThe 2020-2021 school year is upon us, and parents are preparing for a school year like none they have ever seen before. According to the New York Department of Education, students will be engaged in learning five days per week, but will be attending a mixture of in-person and online classes. As parents prepare for their children to go back to school after an unusually long absence, their children’s safety, both online and offline, is always the top priority.

Travel Safety

School buses will begin appearing on New York roads after a long absence. Drivers should be aware, as always, of traffic regulations in regard to school buses, including when to stop. Whenever a school bus is stopped and the STOP sign is deployed, drivers on both sides of the road must stop until the bus begins moving. Although children are supposed to walk in front of a bus while exiting, drivers should not assume that all children will follow these rules. Be on the lookout for children both behind and in front of a bus.

Even after a bus has started moving, children may be present and may cross the road with no warning. After the bus has begun to move, and even after it has left the area, drivers should be alert for children on or near the road.

The normal summer break started several months early this year, so drivers and pedestrians have become unaccustomed to watching out for school busses, commuting parents, and children walking or riding bicycles to school. Additionally, the new, mixed learning schedule for this school term may mean that children might be traveling to and from school at unusual times. When driving near a school zone, drivers should assume that parents and school buses may be dropping off children and children may be present at or around schools, outside of normal school hours.

Drivers should also be aware that children may be home during normal school hours, and should look for children playing outside, even during the day.

Online Safety

The new learning environment means that children may be spending more time online than they have in the past. Younger children may be online for the first time. Increased computer time may increase the risk of children being exposed to online predators, so a child’s online learning time should be supervised by an adult. Fortunately, most online browsers have parental controls to make this supervision easier on parents of younger children.


New York Injury Attorneys

The attorneys and staff at The O’Brien Firm wish a safe and productive school year for all New York families. If you or your child is involved in an accident or suffers an injury due to the fault of another, we are here to help. During a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our expert attorneys, we will answer your questions and tell you how we can get you compensation that you may need. Call us at 716-907-7777 or visit our website here.