Another summer has come to a close and that means another school year begins for children across the area. As school returns, so do school buses, children on foot and bicycle, and additional drivers using the road during busy morning and afternoon commutes. It is a time of day when parents and kids are often rushing – and unfortunately, a time when accidents are more likely to happen.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from 2006 to 2015, there were over 300 children fatally injured in accidents related to school transportation. The majority of children who died or were seriously injured were only 4 to 7 years old. It is not only important for parents of school aged children to remember and teach good safety practices, but important as well for any driver who takes to the road during these busy times of day.
Know the Hazards
Riding the bus is one of the most common ways in many parts of the country for children to travel to and from school. For parents, it is critical to teach basic safety tips about riding the bus, especially with younger or new bus riders. Parents can teach children to take basic safety steps while awaiting and riding the bus. Children should always stay out of the street and at least five steps away from the curb. They should be aware never to step into the street before the bus has come to a complete stop or step into the driver’s blind spot. When on the bus, ensure that children know to remain seated and avoid shouting or distracting the driver while the bus is moving.
For drivers, be alert for yellow or red lights flashing indicating the bus is coming to a stop. It is illegal to pass a bus that is stopped with the stop arm extended. Drivers should be especially aware of children whose attention can be distracted when boarding and exiting buses, and to leave enough space when stopped behind a bus for pedestrians.
Children who walk to school should also be aware of basic safety regarding crossing streets. Basic practices include crossing only at designated crossings or traffic lights and staying to sidewalks where available. Another critical safety step is teaching kids not to text or talk on the phone while walking – distracted pedestrians and traffic can be a deadly combination. For children who bike to school, the same traffic safety rules apply.
For drivers, sharing the road with bicyclists involves additional care and vigilance, especially with younger bikers in school areas. Drivers and bicyclists both have responsibilities on the road, but in a car-bicycle collision, the bicyclist is obviously more likely to be seriously injured. Driver awareness anytime there are bicyclists nearby is key. Drivers should avoid following closely, always use signals, and be alert for bicyclists who turn suddenly without hand signaling their direction.
If you have been injured in a car accident, it is essential to have the legal advice of a Philadelphia car accident lawyer to be sure that your rights are protected. Medical care after a collision is critical and an attorney can help you receive the compensation and medical treatment that you need after the devastation of an accident.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Fight for Victims of Driver Negligence
The dedicated Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC represent victims of accidents and will aggressively fight for your rights to financial compensation. We have locations in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania and represent clients across Philadelphia, Delaware County, and Chester County. We also have offices in Wilmington to assist clients in Delaware and offices in Haddonfield, New Jersey to represent clients across South Jersey. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call 215-569-8488 or 302-888-1221.