August is here and now is the time to begin preparing your kids for their return to school. You should also take this opportunity to prepare yourself for the new school year. According to the Transportation Research Board, about 25,000 kids are injured in school zone accidents, which are largely caused by distracted driving. If you plan on driving your children to and from school, make sure you take the right safety precautions to prevent these terrible accidents from occurring.
Safety Tips to Prevent School Zone Accidents
School zones are particularly dangerous because children are often unpredictable and are not always aware of their surroundings. If you look down at your phone for even a moment, you could miss a child crossing in front of your vehicle.
Here are some tips that will help you stay safe in school zones:
- Drive at a slower speed: Any time you are driving in a school zone, it is crucial to reduce your speed. If you drive too fast, you will not have enough time to react to children who are walking through a school zone. Even if you are lucky enough to avoid an accident while speeding, you might still get a heavy fine for this violation.
- Pay attention to the crossing guard: Crossing guards exist to protect pedestrians at crosswalks and, when drivers do not respect their authority, accidents can happen. Pay attention to crossing guards and obey their instructions.
- Do not pass a bus from behind: It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus that is unloading or loading kids when its stop sign is extended and the lights are flashing. Not only is it illegal, but it poses a serious threat to the safety of children leaving or entering the bus.
- Stay alert: As mentioned earlier, distracted driving is one of the most dangerous habits a driver can engage in while in a school zone. Never use your phone, operate your GPS device, eat, or reach for objects in your vehicle while you are in a school zone. You must remain alert at all times to prevent an accident.
Additionally, there are some safety tips you can review with your children, so they can stay safe while in a school zone:
- Cross the street safely: Remind your children to only cross the street at a crosswalk and to always look both ways before crossing.
- Walk with a friend: If your children walk to school, use the buddy system and make sure you have their friend’s contact information. If your children are under the age of 10, they will need a trusted adult chaperone.
- Understand school bus safety: School bus accidents frequently occur when children run to or from the bus and get struck by cars. Impress the importance of being cautious when getting into or out of a school bus.
Reach Out to an Auto Accident Attorney Today!
If your child was injured in a school zone accident, you need to contact the personal injury team at Sam C. Mitchell & Associates for the experienced and knowledgeable legal representation you need to obtain fair compensation.
Reach out to our law firm today at (618) 505-1660 to request a free case review. We will not recover any legal fees unless we win your case!