In the morning, I drive by a school zone near my house and see many drivers speeding through the school zone. The maximum speed limit is 15 mph, yet many drivers are flying by at 40 or even 50 mph. Now that school has started, students are crossing the street in the school zone, and drivers are still not slowing down. This is obviously dangerous because kids crossing the street in a school zone can get hit. The kids may be seriously injured, or worse, die as a result of a car accident.
A lot of kids walk or ride their bikes to school. Because they are children, they may dart out in front of a car in an attempt to get across the street and get to school. When drivers are speeding, the risk of a fatal pedestrian accident increases. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, when cars are traveling at 40 mph or faster, 80% of pedestrians hit by cars die as a result of the car-pedestrian accident. However, when speed is cut down to 20 mph or less, only 10% of pedestrians hit by cars die as a result. Therefore, drivers need to slow down in school zones, especially when the signs are flashing, which warns drivers that it is either dismissal time or arrival time.
Parents also need to talk to their children about crossing the street when going to school. They need to be aware of their surroundings and not be distracted. For instance, many teenagers listen to music with their headphones while walking, and this is not a good idea. Parents should tell their children not to listen to their headphones while crossing the street. Another common distraction is the use of smartphones. Kids may be texting while walking and not paying attention to traffic while crossing the street. Again, parents need to tell their kids that they should not use their cell phones to text, check social media, etc., while crossing the street.
Daniel J. O’Brien is an experienced personal injury lawyer with decades of experience representing injured victims in all types of accidents, including PA car and bus accidents. Mr. O’Brien is licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you or a loved one was injured in a motor vehicle accident and want to inquire about your legal rights, call Mr. O’Brien to schedule a FREE consultation. 877.944.8396
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