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Drivers should watch out for children riding bikes to school

The weather is still nice enough in most parts of Connecticut for children to walk or ride bikes to and from school. In fact, many children enjoy the independence of riding a bicycle to school for as long as they can. However, riding a bike near traffic can present many dangers to children.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, three bicyclists lost their lives in Connecticut in 2015. During the previous several years, numerous people were killed in bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles each year. Some of these may have been children who were riding to or from school.

The National Safety Council states that more children are struck by vehicles near their schools than anywhere else, whether by walking or riding bikes. Children are known to take risks, which may include riding a bike into traffic against a light or where there is no crosswalk. Some children, especially younger ones, do not fully understand safety rules regarding bicycles and motor vehicle traffic. It can also be difficult for drivers to see children riding bikes nearby or to react in time to avoid hitting a child who has suddenly darted into the street.

It is important for drivers to always be aware of their surroundings when driving in school zones or during the hours before and after school. They should obey school zone speed limits, stop for buses that have their warning lights flashing and allow children on bikes or on foot to cross the street. Being aware that children may ride bikes to school even during poor weather could prevent tragic accidents.

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