School zones throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island can be chaotic places. School zone auto-pedestrian accidents happen every day, leading to severe catastrophic injury and even accidental death. Children are rushing into school, or excitedly leaving for the day, some in groups, some are by themselves on their phones or listening to music on their iPods, parents are coming and going, picking up and dropping off, etc.. It should come as no surprise that this environment could be conducive to auto-pedestrian accidents and auto-bicycle accidents. Let’s take a look at some of the more common causes of these accidents.
Causes of School Zone Auto-Pedestrian Accidents
- Distracted driving – This one tops the list as usual. Many people can’t sit in traffic without whipping out the smartphone to return texts, surf the internet, or to try to multitask and take care of business.
- Speeding – Many drivers drive through school zones without slowing down to the posted speed limit. When a driver is going too fast in a school zone or around school, it becomes more difficult for a car to come to a stop for students.
- Unsafe drop-off/pick-up behavior – With so many parents and guardians trying to get in, find a spot or double park, grab their children and get out, it can be a recipe for potential disaster.
- Inner city school zones – School zones in our cities like New Bedford, Fall River and Providence can be more dangerous because there isn’t always room for a safe pick-up drop-off area. Because of this, parents tend to double park causing more backed up traffic and more confusion.
School Zone Pedestrian Safety Tips
Let’s face it, kids aren’t always aware of the rules involved in crossing the street or safe practices to reduce their risk of being in a pedestrian accident. For these reason, we would like parents to review the below safety tips with their children in an effort to reduce their child’s chance of being in a pedestrian school zone accident.
- Look and use caution when crossing – Remind your children to look left, right and then left again before stepping off of a curb to cross a street, and just because the “Walk” signal is illuminated does not mean the street is completely safe.
- Be aware / Drop the distraction – Parents need to reinforce the message that cell phones and headphones should be put down when crossing the street.
- Stick to the sidewalks – When children are walking in the roadway, the chances of an auto-pedestrian accident increase. Use sidewalks when they available, and try to walk facing traffic as far to the left side as possible when there are no sidewalks.
- Walk with your kids – According to safekids.org, most children under the age of 10 cannot judge the speed and distance of an oncoming car. This means that children age 10 and under should be walking with an adult.
- Lead by example – Parents and guardians should be setting a good example by heeding all of these same traffic rules and putting down their devices while walking.
Contact An Experienced New Bedford Auto-Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have been the victim of an auto-pedestrian accident due to a distracted driver’s negligence in a school zone or anywhere else, please contact us to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We’ll help you to get the settlement that you deserve.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.