Safety should be on everyone’s back-to-school lists this year. Whether you’re a parent walking a child to school, a middle-schooler riding a bike, or a teen driving a car, there is an increased risk for injuries once more students hit the neighborhood streets.

Parents are key to keeping children safe. Regardless of the age of your children, you play a role in reducing crashes and incidents that result in injury or death.

girl getting on school bus

Young Children

Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult. Model safe behavior by using sidewalks and crosswalks, and by putting cellphones away. Show your child how to look all ways before crossing the street, and to be alert for drivers and bicyclists.

For more information on pedestrian safety, click here.

Bicyclists

Biking is a healthy way for older kids to get to school, but parents have to reinforce safety messages. Cyclists must wear a helmet; no exceptions! Teach them to ride in the same direction as traffic, and to follow all stop signs and traffic signals. There is always increased vehicle traffic around schools, so kids need to pay special attention to cars backing out of driveways, turning corners or pulling into parking lots. School buses can block a cyclist’s view of traffic, so cyclists should keep a safe distance and pay attention to slowing or stopping buses.

For bike safety tips and information, click here.

Teen Drivers

Teen drivers are among the most susceptible for crashes, so be sure to reinforce the importance of attentive driving. Set rules – with consequences – for speeding, cell phone use, and the number of passengers allowed in a teen’s car. Make seat belts mandatory.

For advice and resources for teen drivers, click here.

Check out our Back-to-School Downloads!

Video: Pedestrian Safety

AAA’s Traffic Safety Programs Manager Diana Imondi offers tips for pedestrian safety at back-to-school time.
School's Open Drive Carefully

Child Passenger Safety Week (9/23-9/29)

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children. And studies show many parents – up to 80% by some estimates – make mistakes when installing or positioning car seats. It’s no wonder…car seats can be complicated to install, and the proper fit changes as the child grows.

Parents have lots of resources to help keep their kids safe and properly positioned in their car seats.


National Car Seat Check Saturday is September 29th. Click here to find a certified car seat technician in your area!

Know Your State’s Car Seat Law

Car seats save lives, reducing the risk of injury by more than 70% and the risk of death by almost 30% than seat belts alone. Regardless of state law, AAA Northeast recommends keeping infants and young toddlers in rear-facing seats as long as possible, maxing out on the upper weight and height limits of the seat, regardless of age.  Older toddlers and children should ride in forward-facing car seats until they reach the maximum height and weight for the harness. Children should use a booster seat until they 4’ 9” tall, regardless of age. 

STATE

CHILD PASSENGER CLUB

New York

  • All children ages 8 to 16 must wear a seat belt in all seats.
  • All children ages 4 until 8, or under 4 and over 40 lbs., must be restrained in a booster seat.
  • Children under age 4 and under 40 lbs. must be restrained in a child restraint system.
  • Violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense.    

New Jersey

  • Children under age 8 and weighing less than 80 lbs. must be in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat in the rear seat, if possible.
  • Children under 2 and weighing less than 30 pounds must be in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system. Children under 4 and weighing less than 40 pounds must be in either a rear- or rear-seat forward-facing child passenger restraint system. Children under 8 and under 57 inches must be in a forward-facing child passenger restraint system or rear-seat booster seat.
  • Violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense.

Connecticut

  • Children over 7 years of age who weigh more than 60 lbs. must be in a seat belt.
  • Children under age 8 and less than 60 lbs. are required to use a child restraint. Children under age 4 or under 40 pounds must be in a harness restraint. Children under age 2 and under 30 lbs. are required to be in a rear-facing child restraint. Children who ride in a booster seat must use a lap and shoulder belt.
  • Children riding in a vehicle without lap and shoulder belts are exempt from complying with the booster seat requirement.
  • Violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense.

Rhode Island

  • Children age 8 until 18, or less than 8 and who are more than 57 inches or weighing more than 80 lbs. are required to be in a seat belt.
  • All children under age 8 shall be properly restrained in the rear seat of the vehicle.
  • Children under age 8, less than 57 inches, and less than 80 lbs. must be transported in the rear seat and properly restrained in a child restraint system. Children younger than age 2 or less than 30 pounds must be in a rear-facing child restraint.
  • A violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense.

Massachusetts

  • Children age 8 through age 12 shall use an appropriate child restraint or wear a safety belt that is properly adjusted and fastened.
  • Children under age 8 and less than 4 feet 9 inches tall shall be properly fastened and secured by a child restraint system.
  • Violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense.