Parents have a lot on their minds when it comes to their children’s safety. This includes keeping children away from places that are potentially dangerous, such as areas of high traffic. Unfortunately, one dangerous situation that is often unavoidable is school zones. School zones consist of numerous drivers trying to get their children to school on time, all while avoiding pedestrians, bicyclists, and a variety of distractions. Distracted drivers in an area with hundreds of children and teenagers can lead to fatal accidents. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, there are five teen pedestrian deaths each week in the United States.
While school zones contain many potential dangers, they can become safer if drivers and pedestrians take simple safety precautions. Parents can take the lead in school zone safety by practicing safe driving, and teaching their kids about school zone safety.
Safety Tips for Adult Drivers
Any adult driver can make school zones safer by avoiding them when possible. If you do not need to pick up or drop off a child, try to avoid taking routes that include school zones. Having less traffic can make the area safer for everyone. If you must pick up or drop off a child, try incorporating the safety tips below:
Follow Speed Limits
Speeding is a common factor in auto accident fatalities. In fact, speeding is the second-leading cause of fatal crashes in New Mexico. It may be tempting to speed through a school zone while running late to drop off your child. However, school zones have reduced speed limits to help drivers stay aware of pedestrians and avoid potential fatalities. Dropping your child off a few minutes late to school is better than risking injury to another child. Try to schedule your time to leave five minutes earlier than you need to in order to help avoid this issue.
Comply With Pick Up and Drop Off Rules
The school pick up and drop off lane can be stressful and time consuming. It can be tempting to drop off your child in an undesignated location or cut in line to avoid the traffic. However, each school has pick up and drop off rules that are created to keep children safe. It may take more time, but complying with these rules can help keep your child out of harm’s way. It will also set a good example of safe driving to your children.
Avoid Extra Distractions
Running children, bicyclists, and other vehicles create constant potential distractions in school zones. It’s difficult to give your full attention to the road while keeping an eye on other people. What can make it more difficult is adding extra distractions, such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or putting on makeup. Keep everyone in your vehicle and those around you safer by avoiding any unnecessary distractions.
If you’ve been injured by a driver in a school zone, don’t settle for a quick check from an insurance company. Insurance companies want to look for a reason why you are at fault for the accident, even if you were following all school zone safety precautions. If you are involved in a crash in a school zone in the Rio Rancho area, let Rio Rancho’s auto accident attorneys, Sanchez and Piñon, give you the representation you deserve. Sanchez and Piñon will defend your right to fair compensation and recoverable damages.
Safety Tips for Teen Drivers
As teens take on the adult responsibility of driving, it’s important for them to take on the adult safety precautions discussed above, too. School zones for high schools have many new drivers trying to navigate the road. One of the biggest dangers for teenagers who are driving is distraction. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 297 teens were killed in crashes involving distracted driving in 2017. Parents can stress the extreme dangers of distracted driving while their high school-aged children are learning how to drive. If teens start practicing safe driving habits while in high school, it is more likely they will become safe adult drivers.
Safety Tips for Kids
Young children in school zones are often accompanied by parents or teachers. However, it’s important to start teaching school zone safety at a young age. Walking on sidewalks or getting on and off the bus are places young children may have to make their own safety decisions.
Sidewalks are Not a Place to Play
When children run on school zone sidewalks or engage in horseplay with their friends, they increase the likelihood of someone falling into the road. It’s important for children to know that sidewalks are not safe places to play. This is true whether a child is walking from their home to school, or from their parent’s car to the school building. Just like cars must drive slower in a school zone, pedestrians need to walk at a safe speed to avoid accidents.
Stay Vigilant Getting On and Off the School Bus
School buses are actually one of the safest ways for children to travel to school. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, children are 70 times more likely to arrive at school safely in a school bus than in a car. School buses are also the most highly regulated vehicle on the road. However, getting on or off the school bus can put a child in a dangerous situation. Buses can cause greater physical injury due to their size and drivers may not be able to see small children in the road.
Below are important safety tips to avoid bus injuries:
- Bus stops are never places to run around or horseplay.
- Make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing in front of a bus.
- Cross at least 10 feet in front of a bus,
- Never walk behind a bus,
- If you drop something in the road in front of a bus, notify the driver before reaching to pick it up,
- Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before trying to get on or off,
Have you recently been injured by a driver in a school zone? Are you looking for experienced legal representatives that will fight for you? Contact Sanchez and Piñon, Rio Rancho’s auto accident attorneys. While other attorneys talk, we listen and provide a personal level of representation. Let’s schedule a free consultation where we can discuss how to fight for the compensation you deserve.