School buses. Crossing guards. Flashing lights on street signs letting you know the reduced speed limit for the school zone. There are so many obvious signals out there, but according to Safe Kids Worldwide, there are five teen pedestrian accident deaths every week in the United States and that number has been increasing since 2013. It’s up to all of us to do better in order to reduce the number of school zone accidents.
The good news is that the majority of school zone accidents are highly preventable. Below are key steps that parents, students, and those just passing through school zones can take to help keep kids safe.
Why Do School Zone Accidents Happen?
One of the biggest reasons for the increase in school zone accidents is distraction. Distracted driving is the fastest growing cause of car accidents in the last decade. It’s not just drivers that are distracted either. More and more students, particularly teens, use mobile phones while they walk to school. Whether it’s a driver or commuter, it’s always important to pay attention to your surroundings.
Common causes of school zone accidents since 2013 include:
- Distracted walkers
- Distracted drivers
- Dropping off or picking up in unsafe areas
- Unsafe street crossing
While it’s unfortunate that student pedestrian deaths are on the rise, the good news is that we can get that number closer to zero through easy-to-follow safety tips.
Dropping Your Kid Off at School? Follow These Safety Tips!
It’s becoming more and more common each year for parents to drop their kids off at school directly–even high-school age students. To help reduce the chance of a traffic accident, parents can take the following steps:
- If allowed, park on the same side of the street as the school. That way the student doesn’t have to cross a busy street and can simply walk from the curb to the building.
- Use flashers. If you are stopped to let someone out, get those hazard lights on. It can be a much better signal to other drivers someone is about to exit the vehicle.
- Never park in a crosswalk or a no-parking zone. Those areas are marked that way for a reason, and making someone else have to go around can put everyone at a higher risk of an accident.
- Do not double park. By blocking visibility for others, you are creating an unnecessary hazard.
- Stay off the phone, period. This includes hands-free phone calls and texts.
- When coming into and leaving the school zone, keep your head on a swivel and your speed low.
That last tip is especially important for those driving through school zones. While it’s common for most drivers to go slightly above the speed limit, it’s essentially to keep at or under the speed limit in a school zone.
Teach Your Children These Safety Tips For Student Pedestrians
While it’s certainly important for adults to learn and practice safe driving habits, it’s also important to teach kids how to safely walk to school. Make sure that the children in your family understand the safety tips below and how valuable they are for avoiding school zone accidents.
- Data from Safe Kids Worldwide shows that 44% of teens who were struck by vehicles while walking were wearing headphones and 31% of them were texting. Pause the music and put the phone away when crossing the street. It can literally mean the difference between life and death.
- Stick to marked crosswalks. Around 80% of students who were struck by vehicles were crossing the street outside of marked areas.
- Crossing the street in a group makes you more visible than walking alone. Find someone else or a group to walk to school with.
- Teenagers made up a plurality of pedestrian deaths for children. Talk to your kids about staying off the phone and staying safe.
Let’s Reduce School Zone Accidents Together
The team at Patterson Legal Group hopes that you found the school zone safety tips above useful. Please share them with your family and friends so that we can work together to make school zones safer for everyone. Remember, most school zone accidents are easily preventable through proper safety measures.
Unfortunately, there will be times when accidents happen no matter how safe you’re being. Should you or someone in your family suffer injuries because of a school zone accident then contact us immediately.
Patterson Legal Group can put you in touch with top medical professionals with experience treating your specific injuries and get started on a case that will get you the highest possible compensation for your medical expenses, ongoing treatment, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
Our team is available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can call us at 888-687-2400, connect with us online through LiveChat, or submit your case information using our encrypted contact form. Patterson Legal Group is known for winning fantastic results for our clients, while treating them with the compassion and respect they deserve.
Best of all, we work on a “no win, no fee” basis, so you don’t pay a dime unless your case is won. Take the first step towards getting the money you deserve for your injuries by calling Patterson Legal Group today.