As summer winds down and kids head back to school, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of school schedules and extracurriculars. But before your days are full of drop-offs, helping with homework and stocking up on supplies, take a minute to refocus your family’s approach to safety. Whether it’s the first year of kindergarten or the final year of college, this school safety checklist will help you and your children be safe and healthy.

Back-to-School Safety Tips for Families with Young Kids

Whether children walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, it is important that they know how to get there safely. Practice walking and biking to school together and continue to remind them of the rules of the road. For bus riders, accompany them to the bus stop and show them how to safely get on and off the bus, reminding them to always stay at least six steps away from the curb. For carpoolers or parents who drop their kids off at school, set an example by obeying school zone speed limits and following your school’s drop-off procedures.

Additionally, check to make sure you’re protected in case the unthinkable happens — having the right auto insurance coverage in place can help in the case of a drop-off line fender-bender.

Back-to-School Safety Tips for High Schoolers

Young and inexperienced drivers should be reminded to slow down and avoid distractions behind the wheel. Luckily, there are safe driving programs available to help. If you have a young driver, consider enrolling them in the Young Driver Safety Program, designed to reinforce safe driving habits and give students the chance to build skills and confidence behind the wheel. Enrolling in the program could help you save money on your premiums, too: Your child could qualify for the Safe Young Driver discount upon program completion.

Avoiding distractions is another key lesson for younger drivers. From phone calls and text messages to friends in the back seat, distractions are everywhere. Encourage your teen to be mindful behind the wheel. Down the road, your student may earn a discount on your premium for their safe driving habits.

Back-to-School Safety Tips for College Students

When you have students away from home, you still want to protect them. Your insurance agent can answer questions about coverage for your college student. Even if they aren’t living under your roof, your homeowner’s policy may still protect the property in their dorm rooms from theft or damage. If your son or daughter is living off-campus, you can encourage them to purchase renters insurance, an affordable way to protect their belongings (even on a college student’s budget).

If your student is on your auto policy, talk to your agent to be sure your coverage meets your changing needs. If your student won’t be taking a vehicle to school and is only driving when they are home during breaks, you may be able to save on auto insurance. If they are taking a car to school, contact your agent: They will want to note where the school is located. Talk to your son or daughter about lending their car out while away at school  there may be special coverage considerations to think about.

Back-to-School Safety Tips for Drivers Without Kids

School days bring congestion in many ways. School buses picking up their passengers, kids on bikes hurrying to school before the bell rings and hurried parents dropping their kids off before work, just to name a few. It's never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present — especially before and after school.

Even if you don’t have any kids in school, it’s crucial to practice safe driving techniques, especially in school zones and around buses. The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them to safely enter and exit the bus, and never pass a bus while it is stopped to load and unload children. Be extra careful when driving through school zones, near bus stops and at intersections with crossing guards. If you live or work near a school zone, be on the lookout for kids crossing the street outside of marked crosswalks, and parents dropping their kids off. Be sure your auto insurance has liability coverage in case of unexpected accidents. 

Do You Have the Coverage You Need?

With back-to-school season right around the corner, keep safety concerns top-of-mind. Your local Farm Bureau agent can help you have protection for whatever life throws your way.

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.