What are Some Back to School Safe Driving Tips?
In some ways, it seems as though summer has just started. In reality, schools will reopen soon. When they do, student safety is a paramount concern, including preventing any car accidents and personal injury.
Not all students take the familiar yellow school buses to and from school. Some are driven to school and picked up later. Some older children may ride their bicycles. Others may walk by themselves or in groups and be unaccompanied by a parent. In cities, students may ride public transit. And some may even use skateboards or motorized boards.
In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration looked at 39,000 students in school zones and noted these findings:
- Some one in four high schoolers and one in six middle school students were distracted walkers.
- Approximately 44 percent of students wore headphones, 31 percent were texting, 18 percent were on their cellphone, and seven percent were engaged in all three behaviors.
- Almost 80 percent crossed streets unsafely by not concentrating on traffic.
- Only 40 percent of school zones had a 20 mph posted speed limit.
- In 30 percent of the school zones, there were no designated crosswalks.
- Thirty percent of the drivers were distracted as they discharged students from their cars, texting or illegally double parking or stopping in a crosswalk.
- After-school hours had more injuries and fatalities in school zones. The highest child pedestrian fatalities happened between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
The National Safety Council reported that of student fatalities involving buses, most victims are only four to seven years old, and they are walking.
Accidents happen and have consequences for all concerned. For those who are either drivers or whose children are involved in a vehicular accident in a school area, an experienced car accident lawyer can be invaluable.
Tips for a Safer Back to School Experience
Getting back to school and then getting back home does not have to be as dangerous as it has become.
Tips for drivers. Operators of motor vehicles have greater responsibility to prevent accidents and injuries. Drivers must be diligent and observant at all times. Children’s actions are not always predictable. If in a carpool, make sure all passengers are buckled up all. It is important to get enough sleep and get ready for the job of transporting children. Motorists must respect the dangers of driving.
Tips going to and from school. Drivers should not tailgate buses or cars driven by others, including parents taking children to school. It is best to be defensive and expect the unexpected.
Tips in a school zone. The most important tip is to slow down. School buses can stop frequently, and with flashing lights or traffic bars down, drivers must stop and wait. Do not pass cars or make decisions that one will regret. Motorists should not be distracted by anything. Also, drivers must follow directions from all crossing guards.
Tips for a teenage driver. Parents can help teenage drivers, including encouraging calm demeanor and eliminating distractions. Teens should leave enough time to eliminate speeding or aggressive driving to make up for lost time. Parents should remind teens that driving is a privilege and that they set examples for other students.
Tips for students. No matter what age, students need a safety sense. Safety includes walking, exiting a car, and getting on a school bus. On a school bus, children should watch their step at all times. When boarding a school bus, it is important to wait until it stops completely and the traffic bar comes down. Wear a seat belt if the bus has seat belts. Children must never cross in front of the bus. They should try to get the driver’s attention before approaching the bus.
As a pedestrian, youngsters must know the rules, including looking before stepping into the street, crossing at marked crossings if possible, and looking both ways. Also, children must not be distracted and avoid running.
Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Clients Hurt in a School-Related Accident
If you or your child was injured in a car accident near a school, you should be able to collect compensation for the losses you incurred. The Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King can help you understand what kind of compensation you are due based on the damages you have suffered. We will protect your rights and represent your interests. Call us at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, DC, we work with car accident victims in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, and Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.