Returning pupils to school benches after the holidays cannot be done without the increased risk of traffic accidents, it can also be reduced by drivers.
Attention to pedestrian crossings: pedestrians do not have absolute priority, but the culprits are almost always marked by the car driver.
Parents should not forget about child restraint systems, small schoolchildren must always be fastened in car seats, even when driving at very short distances.
Even this year, the beginning of the school year cannot be without preventive and control actions aimed primarily at protecting children after their return from the holidays to the school benches. ŠKODA AUTO asks for the driver to respect the smallest road users and help reduce the risk of injuries by taking responsibility for them.
Annually, the first week of September will require pedestrian victims, including more children than the rest of the year. Statistics show that September is one of the months with the highest number of traffic accidents and the highest number of life-threatening victims. Between 2013 and 2017, the ninth month of the year has always been ranked among the saddest. For example, in September 2014 there were 7,770 traffic accidents, in which 76 road users were killed – absolutely the most of the year. Last September, according to statistics, Traffic Police reported an increase in the number of road accidents to a total of 8,930 incidents, in which a total of 43 people died. In many cases, these accidents could be avoided if pedestrians and drivers paid attention to the traffic situation and were aware of the risks they face.
The Police of the Czech Republic, prepare measures related to the first days of the new school year. Activities of patrols will concern children especially on their way to school. In addition to transitions, police officers will also focus on running around schools, adhering to the highest allowed speed on the part of drivers, and possible violations of rules by other road users. However, no repression can replace the prevention. Drivers should be aware that children returning from vacation still live in their “bubble” and can react illogically or in short. From this point of view, the group of the youngest pupils – predominantly pupils of the lowest grades of elementary schools – appears to be the riskiest. These children commit several fundamental mistakes that drivers should know about. They often overestimate their abilities and try to stand out in front of their friends forgotten about road traffic rules, even if they are theoretically controlled. Due to psychological immaturity, they cannot predict the traffic situation, especially they cannot estimate the speed of the arriving car. And many of them feel that drivers have to respect and give priority to them.
Many dangerous situations also occur at crossings where there is no absolute priority for pedestrians, but their rights are very strong. Children should pay particular attention to where they cannot look well when passing, for example, due to badly parked cars. This is especially true for younger schoolchildren and schoolgirls who are smaller than regular cars. Even older children, however, often do not have to see over trucks or larger SUVs. There are also transitions over multi-lane high-speed roads. Misfortune can also easily occur when one car stop and leaves the pedestrian, but another move on. Adults should put the kids at heart for the fact that the driver of the other car does not need to notice it. The safety of children on the way to school certainly will support clothing with reflective fabrics or reflective materials. These are now commonplace and are aesthetically embedded in shoes, jackets and school bags. Various reflective tapes or pendants are available for both the smallest and the teenagers. Their importance grows in proportion to how shorter days are.
Nowadays, many children do not go to school or do not travel by public transport, but they are imported by their parents by car. In this case, child seats cannot be forgotten. Experts from the ŠKODA road safety research team report that the child must be trapped in a restraint system even for short-distance transport. When using a child car seat in a car from the earliest age of the child, it can be assumed that the schoolboy’s age is already taking this precaution as a matter of course. For school children from the lowest classes, it is advisable to choose a seat with a fixed back. When using it and attaching the child to the safety belt, care must be taken to ensure that the belt is not near the neck or over the shoulder joint and surrounds the pelvis at the bottom. The safest placement of the child seat is in the rear seat behind the passenger but since 2006 it is permitted to transport the child in the seat and in the front seat. The rapid growth of a child’s figure at a later age results in the use of a separate seat in place of a compact child car seat. Thanks to it, the child is raised to a position where the safety belt will properly surround the body. As soon as a child reaches a height of 150cm or the body weight reaches 36kg, the seat is no longer mandatory. Then the baby is transported in the vehicle as an adult.
When buying a suitable car seat, it pays to check with the child how it fits and how it feels. Some patterns by specific shaping may not suit the child. They also do not have to fit into a particular car – especially the modern “seated” seats are very wide, in the narrower interiors of older cars they do not fit perfectly and lean on the door, which is not desirable. When placing a new baby car seat, it is worthwhile to observe the enclosed instructions. From the point of view of installation, the seat can be fastened by means of safety belts or special Isofix fastenings. In the case of Isofix, there is less risk of installing the seat.
“If you only have a seat with belts, do not worry. Just make sure that the straps are tightened and the seat is securely attached, “explains the expert and expert on prevention from the ŠKODA AUTO Safety Research Team Robert. If the seat is well attached, it cannot move almost with it. Better than choosing in a general supermarket or even an anonymous e-shop is buying in a specialized store or car showroom, where they offer a seat that suits the particular car. “Here the customer can professionally show how to place the car seat in the car. He is also confident that the manual will be in Czech and the product itself will be homologated, “adds Robert. The ŠKODA Original Equipment range currently offers a Kid fix XP II restraint system suitable for school children aged 15 to 36kg. This car seat is designed for all current models of ŠKODA – CITGO, FABIA, RAPID, OCTAVIA, KAROQ, KODIAK, and SUPERB.