Did you know that 100 children per year are killed walking to or from school? In addition, according to the Transportation Research Board, a program unit of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, approximately 10,000 kids are injured each year too. These statistics should alarm us and prompt us to stay alert while we are on the roadways all school year long.
K LAW, PLLC is a personal injury law firm that cares deeply about safety on dangerous roadways. We are on your side providing expert legal counsel for various types of injuries, including pedestrian and bicycle accidents. We also want to keep you informed about the dangers — and what you can do to help prevent accidents and injuries to children going back and forth to school in your own neighborhood.
What to Look Out For
Drivers should stay alert wherever they are going, but during back to school, it is especially important to look out for:
Vehicle congestion — be prepared for lots of additional cars and trucks on the roadways in the morning and the afternoon before rush hour
Buses — leaving schools and picking up and dropping off students; often on two-lane roads
Pedestrians — students from elementary, middle, and high schools walking to and from school and waiting at bus stops
Bicycles — students riding their bicycles to and from school
Be prepared to encounter any or all of these during the morning or afternoon while you are going to and from work, running errands, or going anywhere else once school has started back.
What You Can Do
There are several things you can do to help prevent accidents and injuries during this dangerous back to school time. It takes patience, focus, and a dedication to keeping our kids safe every day. To help keep you, and others, safe, consider the following:
Get rid of any distractions — distracted drivers are one of the main causes of injuries and accidents. Even if you only take your eyes off of the road for a few seconds, you can double your chances of something bad happening. Don’t eat or put on makeup while you are driving. And the most important rule — don’t use your cell phone when you are behind the wheel. Safety first.
Don’t speed and honor school zone speed limits — faster vehicles are much more likely to cause major injuries or even cause deaths. School zone speed limits are there for a reason and should always be adhered too. Even if you don’t see someone crossing the street, always obey the speed limit — you never know when a small child may be coming around a corner or stepping off of a curb.
Keep an eye out for school buses — they can come over hills or around curves at any time. Whether you are on a two-lane road or a four-lane road, watch carefully for when they are signaling to stop. Make sure to give the school buses plenty of room so the children can depart the bus and cross the road safely.
Don’t roll through stop signs — it can be tempting to do, but it isn’t safe. Always come to a full stop at stop signs in school zones and neighborhoods. Look both ways and check to make sure that there are not any kids nearby trying to cross the road.
Be a good driver and share the road — bicycles need space too. Slow down and share the road with any bicycle riders going to school or making their way home. And remember that young bicycle rider is often not as adept as an adult cyclist and can wobble or swerve unexpectedly. Give them plenty of room to maneuver and allow at least three feet when you are passing them. If your children are riding a bicycle, make sure they always wear a properly-fitted helmet.
Educate new drivers — teens are really excited to get their driver’s license. Educating them on safe driving habits in school zones and everywhere else is critical. Did you know that vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States? Be strict on eliminating distractions and ensuring they know how to drive safely to not only save their lives but the lives of other students and families too.
K LAW, PLLC Cares and is Here to Help
K LAW, PLLC cares about the safety of students and their families. We serve the citizens of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, and Florida’s Gulf Coast in personal injury and accident cases. With you and your family’s best interests in mind each step of the way; we aggressively pursue your case as expert legal advocates. The law allows for an injured person with the right to recover damages from the responsible party and we are here to help.
Contact K LAW, PLLC today at 727-685-3695 or complete our online information request form to set up a free, confidential consultation. We fight hard for Florida families every day.