As the seasons change, and children head back to school, it is time for drivers to begin thinking about keeping kids safe as they walk or ride their bicycles to and from school. Getting those children to school and home again safely each day is the responsibility of every driver on the roads. From watching your speed to keeping track of your blind spots, these tips will help keep everyone safe this season.
Watch for Child Pedestrians
Children of all ages tend to keep their focus on their friends, chatting, and even playing games on their way to and from school. All drivers must be aware of these student pedestrians, watching them closely, and being prepared for unexpected dashes off the sidewalks or across an intersection. Taking great care in areas where children trek to school helps drivers avoid accidents.
Never Block the Crosswalk
When approaching a stoplight or stop sign, drivers should stop before their front bumper reaches the crosswalk line. When cars block the crosswalk, children and other pedestrians are forced to step out into the intersection to cross the street.
School Crossings in Unusual Locations
In many areas, marked School Zones are placed between stoplights, notifying drivers to stop with blinking or flashing yellow lights. In this situation, even where no crosswalk is marked on the road, all drivers must yield to pedestrians.
Patience is Critical to Safety
Especially in the morning hours, many drivers are in a hurry to reach their destinations, becoming impatient as children make their way across the streets. Never honk the horn, yell out the window, or rev the engine loudly in an attempt to intimidate children to move quickly out of the road. Scaring a child may result in him or her making an unpredictable move, which could put the child in danger.
Avoiding Child Cyclists
Bicyclists must obey the same rules and regulations on the road as motorists, but this is a difficult concept for many child cyclists to understand. Not only are bicycles difficult for motorists to see, but children on bikes are apt to make unexpected moves on the roadway, sidewalks, and at crosswalks. For this reason, drivers must be extra vigilant when driving near schools, parks, and in residential areas. A large number of bicycle accidents occur during turns, making it critical that drivers check all mirrors before turning.
Safety Around School Buses
Children of all ages make their way to and from school every day in a school bus. Children gather at the bus stop before school, where they chat and play until the bus arrives, making their moves near the roadway unpredictable. When the school bus stops to let children off in the afternoon, many of those children cross the road in front of the bus to get home.
Although all 50 states have made it illegal to pass any school bus that is stopped to pick up or drop off children, this is still the most likely time for accidents between motorists and children. School buses utilize red or yellow flashing lights to alert motorists from both directions to stop.
Be Watchful and Prepared to Act
Children are unpredictable, whether walking to school, crossing the street, or riding their bicycles around the neighborhood. Keeping an eye on the road, diligently watching for children, and avoiding distractions while driving are the most important steps drivers can take to keep children safe.
Unfortunately, accidents still happen. If your child has been injured in an accident caused by someone’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated for injuries and damages. The personal injury lawyers at Van Sant Law, LLC are here to help. Just fill out our online case evaluation form, or call us at (678) 679-6710 today.