When the school year begins, the roadways can become cluttered and chaotic. There are school buses just about everywhere, kids riding on bikes and even some rushing across the street to make it to school. Hurried parents will speed through intersections and rush to drop their children off at school before they are late to work. Regardless of whether or not you have a student in school this year, there are things you must do to avoid accident and injury during the school year. Most importantly, you must take extra precaution and pay attention when school children are present before and after school.
When Dropping Children Off
If you are taking a child to school, follow your school’s drop-off procedures. Every school has specific procedures that must be met and these are designed with a child’s safety in mind. Some things to consider when dropping your child off include:
- Never double park – it can block other drivers’ visibility of children and vehicles.
- Do not load or unload your child across the street from their school and force them to cross the road.
- Try to carpool to help reduce the number of vehicles at the school each day.
Stay off your Phone
Distracted driving continues to be a problem for both teens and adults alike. The distractions from mobile devices are unending, but the main offenses are talking on the phone and texting. Being on a mobile device around children is a recipe for disaster. Kids don’t always look and when you’re on your phone, you aren’t looking either. Stay off your phone when driving at all times, but especially with so many more children crossing roads and riding their bikes to school.
Remember to Share the Road with Pedestrians
According to the National Safety Council, most children that are struck by buses are between the ages of four and seven years and they are walking. Drivers should use certain precautions when passing through school zones or any time walking children are present. Some things drivers can do include:
- Never blocking the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or when waiting to make a right-hand turn. This forces pedestrians to walk around the vehicle, which puts them in the path of moving traffic.
- When in a school zone and school zone lights are flashing, cars should slow to the mandated speed and always yield when pedestrians are spotted.
- Drivers must stop for any school crossing guard who is holding the stop sign.
- Drivers should take extra care and look out for children in school zones as well as children around parks and playgrounds.
- Drivers should avoid all forms of distracted driving – including changing the radio or talking to their own children in the car.
Share the Road with Buses
Buses carry large numbers of children to and from their home, and drivers not only need to share the road, but also to respect the children inside that bus. It is illegal in all states to pass a bus that has stopped to load or unload children. Drivers should also stay back 10 feet from a school bus and give the bus enough space to safely stop. When yellow or red lights are flashing on a bus, drivers must stop and must never attempt to pass a bus from behind.
Contact a Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney if Your Child Was Struck by a Vehicle
While drivers should exercise caution on the roads, not all drivers behave responsibly. If your child was seriously injured in a bus accident or while walking to school, contact a Kansas City personal injury attorney. Horn Law is here to answer your questions and protect your rights to compensation. Contact us online or call 816-795-7500 to schedule a consultation with an attorney.