Millions of students are returning to the classrooms this month, which means extra care must be taken for all who are driving motor vehicles. With the start of the new school year comes increased traffic on area roads, and also an increased risk of accidents.
Drivers must be aware at all time, especially when near school zones and along bus routes. Watch for children walking on sidewalks, in parking lots and crossing streets, they can be unpredictable. AAA estimates that 55 million children across the country are returning to school this fall, warning drivers to be especially vigilant for pedestrians before and after school hours.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the highest percentage (42%) of fatalities among pedestrians under 15 occurred between 4p.m. and 8p.m. The NHTSA reports that 23 million students nationwide ride on a school bus, but the greatest risk is approaching or leaving the bus. The danger zone is 10-feet in front of the bus, 10-feet behind, and 10-feet on each side. Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop for loading or unloading children, so drivers should slow down and prepare to stop.
Here are tips from the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law for safe driving near school zones and in the vicinity of school buses:
• Be aware of school buses and children at all times when driving near a school or bus stop.
• It illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
• Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign arm on a bus is a signal that children are getting on or off the bus.
• Never pass a school bus on the right, even if you think it is parked, it is illegal and could have tragic consequences.
• Watch as students get off a bus or are walking, they may quickly change direction, walk out from between cars, or dart out into the street.
• Remember that the 10-foot area around a school bus presents the greatest risk for children being hit.
• Pay close attention to crossing guards.
• Don’t drive distracted – pay attention to the road at all times.
• Obey the posted speed limit at all times.
• Be patient. Expect extra traffic during peak bus times, plan ahead and give yourself extra time.
Many pedestrian accidents can be prevented when drivers slow down and pay attention. Every parent wants their child to arrive and return safely from school, and that requires motorists to be attentive around school buses and school zones. The Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers encourage you to drive safely today and always.
The personal injury lawyers at Munley Law have been fighting for clients for over five decades. They are experts in car, truck, bus and pedestrian accidents, representing clients throughout Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. If you need a lawyer to fight for you, you need Munley Law. For more information, visit www.munley.com.