As the new school year begins, AAA and the Kansas injury law team at Bretz & Young are urging drivers to please watch for pedestrians and bicyclists while driving through school zones.
Each year, some 55 million children across the U.S. return to school. Among them, 13 percent walk or ride bicycles. It's imperative for drivers to be especially watchful for pedestrians before and after school.
Before and After School Hours the Most Hazardous
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the afternoon is especially perilous for pedestrians and bicyclists — with a quarter of all pedestrian deaths occurring between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Motorists must be particularly vigilant at this time, bearing in mind that children and parents are on new routes and a new schedule as they are getting in and out of cars and school buses. Moreover, there are going to be a lot of inexperienced teenage drivers on the road during these hours, which creates additional safety concerns.
Drivers have an important role to play in keeping kids safe on their way to and from school.
According to AAA, as detailed by KSAL.com, drivers' responsibilities include:
- Slowing down. School zones have reduced speed limits for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is two-thirds less likely to die in that collision than one hit by someone traveling 35 mph.
- Being prepared to stop. Studies have shown that 1 in 3 motorists rolls through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. It is very important that you come to a complete stop because not only is it the law, you need to be able to check for children in the crosswalk before you head through.
- Paying attention. Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds can double your risk of a crash.
- Backing up carefully. Just like every other vehicle, yours has blind spots. This is especially true where kids are involved because they may not be tall enough for you to see on sidewalks or while passing your driveway.
If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident while in a school zone, it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney who can help you with your claim. Bretz & Young Injury Lawyers will fight to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions. Contact us today and find out how we can help you.