Back to school time is almost here, and that means it’s time for the dreaded pick-up and drop-off process. During this time, traffic is much more congested than usual as school buses pick up kids, children on bikes rush to get to school before they get in trouble, and frantic parents try to drop off their young ones before being late for work. When there are kids around, especially before and after school, it’s crucial for drivers to slow down and pay attention.
Our list of tips for safety during back-to-school season will list out everything you need to know to stay safe, both for yourself and your children. If you have been injured as a result of a pedestrian car accident, we recommend seeking the assistance and guidance of pedestrian accident lawyers.
Top Back to School Safety Tips for Drivers and Pedestrians to Remember
Have a Talk with Your Kids About Safety
Your child should get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the planned departure time of the bus. Teach children to always take five steps back from the curb to be safe. They should always look ahead after taking a seat on the bus and wait until the vehicle comes to a complete stop and the driver signs for them to board. They should also get off the bus after it has stopped and scan the street for automobiles on the left and right before crossing.
If You’re a Driver, Know the Bus Lights and Signs Meanings
When a school bus has flashing yellow lights, it is indicating that it is about to stop, therefore you should slow down. There are probably either parents waiting nearby to pick up children or students waiting to board the bus. Children are getting on or off the school bus, therefore you should stop and wait at least twenty feet behind the stopped bus if you see red flashing lights– no matter which lane it is in. Maintain your stop until the bus starts moving again, the red lights cease blinking, and the stop sign is retracted.
Keep an eye out for kids even when the lights aren’t flashing, especially in the morning or mid-afternoon, towards the start and end of the school day. When backing out of a driveway, driving through a neighborhood, a school zone, or a bus stop, pay attention.
Be Safe When Dropping Off Your Kids
For the school year, schools frequently have highly strict drop-off protocols. For the protection of all children, be sure you are familiar with them. Avoid double parking in school zones since it reduces sight for other kids and cars. Children should not be loaded or unloaded across from the school. In order to limit the number of automobiles at the school, carpooling is also advised.
Be Mindful When Driving Around School Zone
A few simple safety measures go a long way in keeping kids safe. Avoid pushing pedestrians to go around you when you are at a red light or waiting to make a turn since this might place them in the line of oncoming cars. When flashers are flashing in a school zone, stop and give way to pedestrians who are crossing the crosswalk or junction. When a crossing guard or school patrol officer holds up a stop sign, you should always stop.
Watch out for kids especially in residential areas, at parks and playgrounds, and in school zones. Even if you have the right of way, avoid honking or revving your engine to frighten pedestrians. Always drive with utmost caution to avoid hitting pedestrians wherever they may be, regardless of who has the right of way, and never pass a car that has stopped for them.
Remember to Watch Out for Children (and Adults) on Bicycles
Bicyclists typically share the same rights and obligations with motorists on the road, but motorcycles can be challenging to notice. Bikers pose particular challenges for drivers because they frequently lack the skills necessary to assess the flow of traffic. The most frequent reason for collisions is a motorist making a left turn in front of a bike.
Passing cyclists should go gently in the same direction and give them a space of three feet in your vehicle.
Wait for the rider to pass while making a left turn and a cyclist is coming from the opposite direction. Allow the bicycle to cross the junction first if you’re turning right and they’re coming up from behind on the right. Always utilize your turn signals.
Kids in particular have a propensity to spin their bikes in front of you without looking or indicating. In residential areas and school zones, use additional caution and keep an eye out for bikes arriving from driveways or parked automobiles. Finally, before opening your door, remember to look in your side mirrors.
Are School Car Accidents Common?
Unfortunately, they are– especially at schools with fairly congested drop-off and pick-up areas. Although you would think that when driving through school zones, drivers take additional care, that isn’t always the case. Accidents in school zones are prevalent, and each year hundreds of crashes and injuries are caused by reckless driving in these areas. When compared to driving themselves to school, students who take the bus have an approximately 70-fold higher chance of arriving safely. During the regular school travel hours each year, an estimated 152,000 school-age children suffer injuries. Only 4% of such injuries involve school buses, whereas over 80% happen in passenger cars.
Between 2011 and 2020, there were sadly more than one thousand fatal school transportation-related collisions, with an average of 113 fatalities a year. According to some research, up to 40 kids may be struck by a car while crossing the street, leading to more than 15,000 injuries per year.
Accidents in school zones may frequently be avoided. The chance of an accident can be decreased for parents who drive their children to school by obeying legal speed limits, being alert to their surroundings, and putting away their cell phones. It’s crucial to teach your children how to be safe whether riding their bikes or walking to school if they do so.
Understanding road safety will help keep your child and other pupils safe if you are getting ready to bring your kids back to school.
What are Some Penalties for Not Driving Safely in a School Zone?
Keeping everyone safe when driving through a school zone is important. However, a lot of individuals are not aware that some traffic infractions in a school zone can result in more severe penalties. If you are observed driving recklessly in a school zone, you may receive fines for speeding, parking, and distracted driving, among other things.
Normal speed restrictions in school zones are frequently 25 mph or less. The fine for a speeding citation issued in a school zone may be greater than the fine for a ticket issued in a non-school zone. Remember that receiving a speeding ticket will increase the cost of your auto insurance. You should anticipate a higher premium each time your insurance renews until the ticket is expunged from your record.
You can receive a parking penalty if you park your car in a crosswalk, bike lane, or school bus drop-off location. Parking fines can be pricey even if they don’t have an impact on auto insurance premiums. To prevent receiving a penalty, just park your car in specified spaces.
You risk receiving a penalty for distracted driving if you use your cellphone while operating a vehicle in a school zone. For the safety of other road users, be aware of local texting and driving regulations and steer clear of using your telephone in a school zone.
Every state has its own set of rules about passing school buses on the highway and granting them the right of way. Drivers are legally compelled to stop behind stopped school buses in virtually every state, whether they are in the same lane or the opposite lane. The majority of school buses include flashing lights or an extended stop sign to let drivers know when to pull over until the children have been disembarked securely.
If You Need Representation, The Florida Injury Lawyers at Fetterman & Associates, PA Can Help
In Florida, pedestrian accidents may be particularly catastrophic. When they are struck by motor vehicles, pedestrians are significantly more likely to sustain serious injuries or die because they have nothing to shield them from the forces that cause accidents. The Florida pedestrian accident lawyers at Fetterman & Associates, PA have expertise in representing pedestrian accident victims and will fight tenaciously on their behalf to ensure that they receive the utmost compensation for their losses. We have a solid track record of accomplishment and are made up of a group of renowned lawyers. Give us a call at (561) 666-9850 to schedule an initial consultation with our Florida injury lawyers and discuss your case.
How was our list of back-to-school safety tips? Don’t forget to give the pedestrian accident lawyers at Fetterman & Associates, PA a call as soon as possible if you’ve been involved in an accident or have an injury that was caused by an auto accident.