According to the United States Department of Transportation, 50 millions students will be attending America’s public elementary and secondary schools this fall. Included in that figure is 35 million kids who will be attending school at the prekindergarten through 8th grade levels. Some children will be commuting to school on foot, while others will be riding a bike. Still others will be going to and from school by bus or private automobile.
From 2007 to 2016, 300 students were killed in school transportation-related crashes. 98 of those children were killed when they were pedestrians, struck by a moving vehicle. The US Department of Transportation reports that school buses are the safest means of transportation for children going to and from school. However, almost two-thirds of students killed in school transportation-related accidents are struck while getting in and out of automotive vehicles. 62% of those fatalities occur while students are getting in or leaving a school bus. Meanwhile, 38% of those fatalities occur while students are entering or leaving other private vehicles. Thus, students should review safety measures which govern entering and leaving school buses. Further, parents and all motorists should pay careful attention while traveling in the vicinity of a school or school bus.
Although it may seem obvious, simple precautions can go a long way in helping to avoid an accident that could result in serious injury or even death. Students of all ages should remember to refrain from jaywalking. Furthermore, students should always look both ways before proceeding across a designated cross walk. A good rule is for students to wait five giant steps from the road while waiting for the school bus. Then when the bus arrives, students should look both ways and wait to proceed until the bus driver signals that it is safe.
Throughout the school year, drivers should pay special attention while traveling through school zones. From 2007 to 2010, 80% of young students who were killed when being struck by automobiles were struck between either 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. In addition, 72% of the 174 young students fatally injured while in school buses were killed between those hours. Drivers should be aware of these hazardous hours, and should stay alert for pedestrians. As the Department of Transportation points out, students are often quickly darting in or out of school. Motorists must remain alert while students may not be completely aware of their surroundings.
Studies show that sending or reading a text can take a driver’s attention away from the road for 5 seconds. This means that at a speed of 55 miles per hour, a driver can travel the length of an entire football field without looking where they are going. Distracted driving can prove to be very dangerous or even fatal, especially in a school zone. Drivers must remember there is no phone call, text, email, or social media post that is more important than the safety of our children.
The legal team of Bley & Evans Trial Attorneys has experience representing the interests of those who have been injured in car accidents. If you have been injured or would like more information on this topic, contact the firm at (844) 443-8385.