I was returning to my office yesterday when I noticed two middle school students, who had the right-of-way, were about to enter the crosswalk. A school bus made a sharp turn and almost hit these students. I immediately called the school bus company and reported this incident and asked that all of the drivers be reminded that they need to be more careful when driving, especially around schools. Unfortunately, approximately 25,000 child injuries occur each year in this country involving students located near schools. Tragically, almost 100 children are killed each year in pedestrian accidents while walking to or from school.
We have all read about the epidemic of distracted driving. The risk of being involved in an accident is compounded when operating a motor vehicle in an area where there are a large number of students. If a driver is texting, or talking on a cell phone, or is reading emails, or is engaging in any other activity that distracts that individual from paying close attention to his or her surroundings, the chances of injuring a student pedestrian are significantly increased. This is especially true when some students are somewhat careless in how they enter crosswalks or dart into traffic.
As parents, it makes a great deal of sense to review safety tips with their children, despite the fact that most of these students ride the school bus. Because many times, these same students will have after school activities that may require them to cross busy roadways, intersections or cause them to traverse traffic. It is important for your students to understand some or all of the following rules:
- Always look both ways before crossing any street. It does not matter that your student has the walk signal or might have the right-of-way in a crosswalk because if a driver is distracted then the operator of the motor vehicle might not see your child;
- You should remind your child to assume that every driver on the roadway is distracted and might not see your student entering a crosswalk or roadway;
- Make sure that every time your child is about to cross the roadway that they first look to the left, then look to the right, and then once again look back to the left before crossing the street;
- As much as possible, your child should wear bright clothing when they know they are going to be walking to or from school so that they are more easily visible to any motor vehicle operators on the roadway; and
- Advise your child that they need to be careful in not only their own behavior but should be on the lookout for any of their friends or fellow students who might put their self at risk in not properly engaging in safe pedestrian behavior.
As a driver, it is important that you utilize some or all of the following safety tips when operating a motor vehicle in and around school zones:
- Do not engage in any type of distracted driving activities as it will only take a second for a student to appear in the roadway which could result in some type of horrific accident;
- Do not assume that students will not start out into traffic or will stop crossing the roadway once the "don't walk signal" appears. Many times, students will want to catch up with their friends or may be in a hurry and will run out into traffic, thinking that the motor vehicle operator will see them and stop; and
- Watch out for students that are in and around school zones as other drivers may not see them, or may be distracted, so that you can attempt to prevent some type of accident by warning pedestrians on the roadways.
If your child has been injured in some type of pedestrian accident, it is important that you consult with an experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyer at the earliest possible moment. Sometimes the services of a private investigator may be needed and an experienced CT accident lawyer will know who to contact to conduct this investigation. There are numerous things that you should and should not be doing after your child has been injured in some type of a pedestrian accident case. If you do not know what to do or what not to do, then you could seriously jeopardize your child's case.
Our Connecticut accident attorneys handle these types of cases on a contingency fee basis and advance the costs to develop your child's school accident case. In other words, you will not have to come up with any money out of pocket and if there is no recovery you will owe no legal fees and no costs. We also provide free consultations to specifically advise you as to what you should be doing relative to your child's injury case.
Contact us today to get this valuable free information by either filling out our online form or calling our toll-free number at 888-244-5480.