Back-to-school safety starts with you

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(WWSB) - According to 2015 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida had the second most child pedestrian deaths in the country with 36. Nationwide, nearly 350 kids were killed.

As school years are starting across the state, AAA wants to remind drivers to slow down and pay extra attention during their morning and afternoon commutes.

“As a driver, we can’t stress enough to put down that cell phone. Pay attention to the road, and what is going on around you. Pay attention to speed limits and help keep our kids safe," said Lindsey Pavlick of AAA.

Nearly one third of all child pedestrian fatalities happen right after school gets out, so drivers need to stay focused when making their way through neighborhoods and school zones in the late afternoon and evening hours. 

Safety recommendations include always coming to a full stop at any stop sign, rather than rolling through it. Additionally, especially in neighborhoods and near schools, drivers need to pay extra attention when putting the car in reverse and should always back up slowly.

 In addition, parents should talk to their children about the importance of staying alert.  “If you are walking or biking to school, you definitely have to be on the lookout for cars too. Make sure you use a crosswalk. Make sure you look left, right and then left again before you cross the street," said Pavlick.