With the end of summer approaching, millions of Texas children are returning to school. Unfortunately, they face greater risks of being hit as a pedestrian in school zones when unsafe drivers cause these tragic wrecks. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 663 crashes occurred in school zones in 2014, causing 21 serious injuries. Thankfully, there were no fatalities. One hundred and six of these crashes occurred in August and September—the first two months of the school year.
Main Reasons Crashes Occur in School Zones
While parents can and should teach their children to be safe, walkers and motorists must make it a priority to watch for children and obey school zone safety rules. The three main causes of these crashes are:
- Driver inattention. Distracted driving is especially dangerous in school zones where drivers must be extra vigilant to see less-visible children. Talking on a cellphone, texting, or eating and drinking are a few of the distractions that result in crashes in school zones.
- Speeding. The slower speed limits in school zones are designed to protect vulnerable children. When impatient drivers violate these rules, they cause collisions with children walking and biking to school, as well as with other motorists.
- Failing to yield. Many school zone collisions happen at intersections when negligent drivers fail to yield the right of way to children legally crossing the street.
Tips for Avoiding School Zone Crashes
No one wants their children to be the victim of a school zone crash. Teach your children these safety measures to help keep them safe:
- Always cross the street at intersections and crosswalks.
- Look left, right, and then left again before crossing the road.
- Check for traffic when getting off the school bus or when coming from behind a parked car.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
- Obey safety guards’ instructions.
- Wear a helmet while riding a bike.
Drivers also need to follow safety rules to not cause a crash that may injure or kill a child. Take these steps to drive safely in a school zone:
- Don't use your cellphone. It's dangerous and illegal to do so in a school zone in Texas.
- Follow the speed limits in a school zone.
- Drop off and pick up your children in designated areas.
- Watch for children gathered at bus stops.
- Be on the lookout for children darting into the street or between vehicles.
Did you or someone in your family suffer in a school zone collision caused by a negligent driver? Our experienced car crash attorneys are here to help you build your case and obtain the compensation you deserve. Start an online chat or call our firm today at (817) 380-4888 to schedule a free consultation.