As summer draws to a close and the classroom bell rings in the new school year, over 55 million children across the United States will head back to school. With 13 percent of those school children typically walking or biking to school, AAA warns drivers to be especially vigilant for pedestrians during before- and after-school hours. The afternoon hours are particularly dangerous for walking children. Over the last decade, more than one-fourth of child pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 and 7 p.m.

“More than 1,300 children lost their lives during these after-school hours between 2000 and 2011,” cautioned John Pecchio, manager, AAA Traffic Safety, “and although we’ve seen a steady decrease in the number of tragedies each year, it’s important to remember that one death is one too many.”