school bus picking up kids

School Bus Safety

Children crossing the street to board their school bus should not be something that parents have to worry about. This past week alone, five separate early-morning accidents at school bus stops in Indiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Florida have ended in fatalities for five students and left six other children hospitalized, two of them with serious injuries. To help you and your family stay safe, check out our school bus safety tips post from earlier this year.

Stay Safe Around School Buses

Wondering about how dangerous the drivers are around your kid’s school? This research by Zendrive compiled 75,000 schools and grades them based on accidents relating to bus drop-off and pick-up. Find your school here.

trick or treating, dusk, halloween, kids

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

Whether they are Spiderman, Wonder Woman, a Unicorn, or a Fortnite inspired character, children still need to know how to trick-or-treat safely. Encourage kids to practice these safe habits while out and about this Halloween night.

Trick-or-Treaters:

Watch where you are walking.

Stay on the sidewalks as much as possible. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic. Avoid walking in streets if possible. Parents, know where your child is going.

Look both ways before crossing the street.

Make sure there are no vehicles coming from either direction. Wait for any cars that are coming to stop before walking in front of them. Never assume that they see you until they stop completely.

Be seen by drivers.

Dusk to dark are times when drivers may have a harder time seeing children walking. It is helpful when the child is holding a flashlight or has on something reflective. According to Progressive, “Be especially careful between 4:00 and 8:00 pm, when most severe vehicle/young pedestrian collisions happen.” Your trick-or-treater should also be able to see without obstruction as well.

Drivers:

Watch carefully.

Watch for children walking across the street. Watch for other vehicles pulling over. Watch for any possible hazards.

Communicate with other drivers.

Use turn signal every time you turn. If you are driving your superheroes and unicorns around to gather treats, be sure you are turning on hazard lights when pulling over.

Buckle up.

Even if you are house hopping for candy, everyone needs a seat belt or appropriate car seats.

Avoid parking where you will need to back up.

If at all avoidable, do not park in a space that you will need to reverse. There is too much that you cannot see. Children may not realize that you are about to back up and can run behind your car.

Stay safe this Halloween and don’t eat all your candy at once! Happy Halloween from The Brothers in Law!

 

Truck on Highway

Hazards of Semi-Trucks

Semi trucks (also known as tractor trailers) demand extensive training and adherence to strict safety standards to operate. When those standards are not held up, it becomes dangerous for the other drivers and passengers on the road. Here are a few major hazards posed by semi trucks to keep watch for.

report them.

Wide Turns

The signs on the back of semi trucks are there for a reason. For drivers to avoid clipping signposts, electrical poles, and pedestrians standing on the corner, they often need to use multiple lanes to make these difficult maneuvers. In order to make these difficult turns, truck drivers should wait until intersections are clear before starting a turn.

Blind Spots

Truck drivers have multiple blind spots while turning as well as driving in general. Truck drivers should pay attention to these at all times. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. When truck drivers are not paying close enough attention to these areas, motorcycles and smaller cars can fall out of view. Drivers beware.

Adequate Stopping Distances

The maximum legal weight allowed on interstates and National Network Highways is 80,000 lbs. Serious accidents can happen when traffic stops abruptly and an overweight truck does not allow for enough breaking distance. Some truck drivers disregard the importance of estimating a greater distance when fully loaded with cargo.

Improper Maintenance, and Failure to Secure Cargo

Most of the weight comes from the load or the cargo being hauled. When it is not secured, the chance for shifts in the weight increases. Shifts in weight can cause the trailer to sway out of the control of the driver.

If you involved in an accident involving a semi truck, call the Brothers in Law, 757-319-4085.

 

Source: Big Truck Guide

cyclists on the road

Bicycle Safety

Whether you’re commuting to work, enjoying a leisurely ride around the neighborhood or teaching your child to ride, bike safety is important for everyone to know. The Virginia DMV provides a great guide to help keep everyone safe while enjoying a bike ride.

(Safety Information from Virginia DMV)

Bicycle Rules of the Road

Bicycles are subject to the same laws as motor vehicles. When passing a bicyclist, motor vehicles must proceed at a reasonable speed and travel at least three feet to the left of the overtaken bicycle. Riders should practice safe and legal bike operation:

  • Ride with traffic.
  • Stop and look both ways before entering the street.
  • Stop at all intersections.
  • Before turning, use hand signals and look all ways.
  • Ride defensively – anticipate the actions of other road users and watch for road hazards.
  • Pass vehicles with extreme care – turning vehicles may not see you.
  • Be aware of motor vehicle blind spots while riding or when stopped at an intersection.
  • Walk your bicycle when you get into traffic situations beyond your cycling abilities.
  • Exercise great caution when riding in bus traffic – watch out for buses pulling to and from curbs and passengers getting on and off buses.
  • Park your bicycle so you do not block sidewalks, disabled accesses, building accesses or emergency lanes.

Dress for Safety

Stay safe by making sure that you are visible to motorists:

  • Wear a helmet, wear bright colored clothing, and secure loose pant legs.
  • Maximize your visibility at night – wear reflective clothing and apply reflective tape to your bicycle.

Parent Information

Learning to ride a bicycle is an exciting accomplishment for a child. Making sure that riding is a safe and enjoyable experience for your child is important:

  • Provide your children with helmets approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Teach them to wear the helmets correctly on every ride.
  • Ensure young children are properly supervised and never allow them to ride their bicycle in the street.
  • The decision to allow older children to ride in the street should depend on traffic patterns, individual maturity, and an adequate knowledge and ability to follow bicycle rules.
  • Your children should never ride at dusk or in the dark.
  • Teach your children how to keep their bikes in good repair, and to check the tires, brakes, and seat and handlebar height annually.
teen driver

Breaking Down Seatbelt Myths

Since the first laws were put on the books in the 1970s, seatbelts have been saving lives around the world. We’ve broken down some of the most common seatbelt myths to help keep you safe on the road.

Myth #1: Seatbelts will trap you if you’re involved in a crash.

Fact: This myth is often associated with fire- and water-related accidents, which account for less than one-half of one percent of all crashes. Wearing your seat belt can actually prevent you from being knocked unconscious, which can drastically increase your chances of escaping your vehicle after an accident.

Myth #2: My seat belt will hurt me in a crash.

Fact: Properly worn seat belts rarely cause injuries. If they do, they’re usually surface bruises and are generally less severe than they would have been without any belt. Without your seat belt, you can be thrown out of the vehicle and severely injured. It is true that sometimes the force of a crash is so great that nothing could have prevented injuries. Studies have consistently shown that injuries in most serious crashes would have been much more severe had seat belts not been worn.

Myth #3: Seatbelts aren’t needed for short car rides.

Fact: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most traffic-related deaths happen within 25 miles from home and at speeds less than 40 mph.

Myth #4: My airbags will keep me safe if I’m not wearing my seatbelt.

Fact: Airbags are designed to protect a buckled passenger, not an unbuckled one. They provide added protection in frontal crashes, but if you’re not wearing your seatbelt you can actually slide under them, colliding with your dashboard or windshield. Airbags also won’t help in side- or rear-impact or rollover crashes.

Myth #5: Wearing just my lap belt is enough protection.

Fact: The shoulder belt helps keep the upper body in place during a crash. Without the protection of the shoulder belt, the upper body—including the head—may strike whatever is in front of it (the back of the front seat or vehicle dashboard depending on where you are sitting), potentially causing significant injuries.

Sources: Geico and DMV.