OMAHA Back-to-school season is here. Thousands of Heartland kids will return to school over the next few weeks. That means more kids walking on our streets, and busier school zones.
According to the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffice Safety Administration, 255 children under the age of 14 were killed while walking near roads in 2012. It's a sharp contrast from higher statistics a decade prior, however, another 11 thousand children were also injured.
Here's another fact, the majority of accidents occurred between the hours of 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., the same times kids are typically getting out of school.
The WOWT 6 News Speed Zapper crew dug up some smart strategies from the National Safety Council that could help as we prepare to drive around children:
* Drivers should not block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn. Do not stop with a portion of your vehicle over the crosswalk. Blocking the crosswalk forces pedestrians to go around your vehicle and puts them in a dangerous situation.
* In a school zone when a warning flasher or flashers are blinking, you must stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk.
* Always stop when directed to do so by a school patrol sign, school patrol officer or designated crossing guard.
* Children are the least predictable pedestrians and the most difficult to see. Take extra care to look out for children not only in school zones, but also in residential areas, playgrounds and parks.
* Don't honk your horn, rev your engine or do anything to rush or scare a pedestrian in front of your car, even if you have the legal right-of-way.