Children and parents might feel differently when classes resume in August and September, but everyone can agree that getting to and from school safely is a top priority. The excitement of back-to-school time is evident as streets that were quiet during the summer are now packed during morning and afternoon hours. This combination of students, cars, buses and bikes presents a risk of a serious accident, even in areas where crossing guards are present.
For more than 70 years, the American Automobile Association’s “School’s Open — Drive Carefully” campaign has urged motorists to take extra care as children start a new school year. Though the message is timeless, several technological and cultural changes have created new potential hazards for youngsters, such as:
- Distracted driving — During entry and dismissal times, small children crowd the school and sometimes aren’t easy to see. One moment of distracted driving caused by a cell phone, a text or a navigation app could lead to tragedy.
- Bicycles, scooters and skateboards — Some vehicles that students ride to school are not as clearly visible as a car or truck. It’s important to watch for bicycles, scooters and skateboards that could dart in front of your car, even if you’re not at a crosswalk.
- Rolling through stop signs —Young pedestrians and crossing guards depend on vehicles strictly obeying traffic rules to maintain safety, but many drivers roll through intersections without ever coming to a complete stop.
- Failure to obey school bus rules — When a stopped school bus extends its stop sign and turns on its blinkers, motorists should halt until those indicators are gone. However, serious injuries and deaths still occur because careless drivers ignore the law.
By observing the law and staying aware of their surroundings, children and motorists can reduce the number of injuries that occur during the first weeks of school. However, injuries to walkers can never be completely eliminated, so you never know when you’ll need a skillful auto accident attorney.
Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban represents pedestrians and others who have been hurt in vehicle accidents throughout the Carolinas and Virginia. Please call (855) 435-7247 or contact us online to discuss your matter and legal remedies that might be available during a free initial consultation.