Monday, August 24, 2015

Back to School in NH: Pedestrian Safety Tips for New Hampshire Students

Travel Safety Tips for New Hampshire Students

It’s almost September, and you know what that means!  New Hampshire students like you are headed back to school.  It will be another school year of walking, biking, or bus riding to your classroom. 

But going back to school is also fun as you get to spend time with your friends as well as learn new things.  There are field trips, science projects, and sports tournaments to look forward to.  You won’t want to miss any of these by not taking enough precaution from catching an illness or getting into a pedestrian accident. 

Pedestrian collisions are among the worst accidents that can happen to you and other New Hampshire students if you don’t take necessary precautions.  Not only will you have to go to hospital and be treated for injuries, you also risk lawsuits as it isn’t always the driver at fault under New Hampshire law.    For instance, the driver is only less than 50% responsible for the pedestrian collision case if the pedestrian was found to be jaywalking or horse playing on the street just before the accident occurred.

Safety Tips Checklist

Here are a few safety tips for New Hampshire students who walk to school.

  • Never rush on the way to school.  You may have gotten up too late and needed to get to school on time before the bell rings, but don’t risk an accident for it.  Instead, ask one of your parents or neighbors to take you to school in their car.
  • Use the sidewalk instead of the street, unless you are crossing to the other side. 
  • Follow traffic lights.  Don’t cross while the light is still red. 
  • Use designated crosswalks to get to the other side.  Never jaywalk. 
  • Wait till the vehicles (including bicycles) have come to a full stop before you cross their paths.
  • Always look both ways before crossing, even if the light is green on your side, you’ll never know if there’s a driver who’s speeding to beat the red light.
  • Never take alcohol. If you had to take cold medicine and feel drowsy afterward, ask someone to go with you to school.  Better yet, ask your parents to drive you there.
  • During bad weather, use an umbrella, a raincoat or waterproof jacket, and sturdy non-slip shoes.  Be careful when walking through puddles, as some might be deep and can cause tripping.  It may also be best to let a family member drive you to school during such days.
  • Walk through main roads and avoid taking shortcuts into alleys or wooded areas. 
  • Stay away from stray animals, like raccoons and dogs.  These may be infected with rabies. 
  • Avoid carrying a heavy load of books on your back. Instead, use a trolley cart or bag with wheels. 
  • Get home on time, as you wouldn’t want your parents to worry.  If you know that you can’t make it home at a specific time, contact your parents as soon as possible. 
  • Have a friend or two walk with you.  There’s safety in numbers.
  • When walking after dark, use brightly-colored or neon clothing and a flashlight.
  • If there are no sidewalks and you must use the street, walk towards oncoming traffic so that you can see the vehicles.
  • Keep an eye out for parked vehicles with people inside.  Steer clear as they may be possible abductors.
  • Don’t talk to strangers.  If a stranger follows you, walk faster and call for help.  Make noise so as to draw attention.   
  • Avoid horseplay and pushing one another on the sidewalk.
  • Make way for people who are skating or skateboarding on the sidewalk.

What to Do If Injured

If you have been injured through a negligent driver then it would be in your best interest to contact a personal injury law firm.

By Joseph Annutto