Back to school season is here, and while it is an exciting time for students and parents, it is also a time of major chaos on the roads. Parents battle rush hour traffic to drop off and pickup their kids at school, yellow school buses make their rounds, kids walk and bike to and from school, and new teen drivers are out on the road. Unfortunately this makes school zones, which are designed to be safe areas, a high risk for pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents.
Statistics show that approximately 25,000 children are injured each year in school zone accidents. These accidents are a combination of pedestrians being struck while walking or cycling to and from school, and vehicle on vehicle collisions. 100 children are killed every year walking to and from school. While the rate of pedestrian deaths in teens 12-19 has decreased overall over the past two decades, the number has increased in the past two years. These statistics are alarming considering the fact that school zones are designed to make commuting to and from school safer for students.
Many school zones attempt to enforce safety by creating cross walks with signs and flashing lights, designating drop off and pickup areas for parents and school buses, and by imposing speed limits. Violating any laws accompanying these precautions often carry heavy fines. So, why are more and more accidents occurring in school zones
The increase in school zone accidents can largely be attributed to the amount of distractions that are available to us today, and become increasingly available every single day. With many drivers already distracted by cell phones, adding distracted pedestrians to the equation is a recipe for disaster. Studies have shown that the biggest pedestrian distraction, especially for teens ages 12-19, are wearing headphones and texting. Developmentally, children are unable to judge the speed and distance of approaching vehicles until age 10. Couple this finding with the fact that most children these days are equipped with cell phones and other gadgets, explains why accidents around schools are so common.
In order to prevent accidents in school zones, it is important that schools and parents exercise caution in and around schools, and teach children and teenagers to do the same. Schools should ensure that their parking lots, and drop off and pick up zones, are well-organized and have an adult monitoring them during peak times. Drivers should remain under the speed limit and pay close attention to crosswalks and signs around the school, while students should abstain from any distracting activity while walking or biking in and around school zones. These measures, while not conclusive, can help to decrease the number of accidents in school zones.
If you or a loved one are involved in a pedestrian or vehicle accident in a school zone, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you find and evaluate any liabilities and help you recover any available remedies.
While we hope you and your family never run into this unfortunate event, should it ever occur, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Friedland | Carmona as immediately as possible. The South Florida personal injury attorneys at the Friedland | Carmona handle all types of bicycle accident, negligence, product liability, personal injury, negligent security, slip/trip and fall, and car accident cases throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach. The Friedland | Carmona handles all types of personal injury cases. Call the Miami personal injury attorneys today and let our family take care of your family.