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Keeping Kids Safe: Avoiding Traffic Incidents On The Way To And From School

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We send our children to school assuming they will be safe throughout the day. So when traffic accidents occur involving kids on their way to and from school, it is more than alarming. Sadly, the list of such incidents is far too long. Although school zones should be one place we can expect that our kids are safe, the statistics tell a different story.

Teens in School Zones Across the USA

 One study of middle and high school students in school zones revealed serious problems.

  • 39,000 students and 56,000 drivers were observed during the study;
  • 25 percent of high school students and 18 percent of middle school students were distracted while walking;
  • Of distracted walkers, nearly one-third were texting and nearly one-half were wearing headphones;
  • 80 percent of students crossed streets in an unsafe place or manner;
  • One-third of drop-offs and pick-ups involved unsafe driver behaviors.

These facts contribute to some frightening statistics:

  • Roughly 20 teen pedestrians are killed every month in this country;
  • The pedestrian fatality rate has been climbing since 2013, up now by 13 percent;
  • Although teens make up only 26 percent of pedestrians aged 0-19, they encompass fully half of pedestrian fatalities.

Younger Children going to and from School

Incidents involving Florida youth in the recent past have parents nervous about their children’s treks to school:

  1. One 10-year-old boy was fatally wounded after being hit by a vehicle when he was riding his bike home from school;
  2. A 17-year-old who was walking home from high school was struck by a motor vehicle and killed;
  3. An SUV crashed into a 12-year-old boy while crossing the street with his bike, sending him to the hospital;
  4. A father and his 5-year-old were injured in a crosswalk on the way to school when a car hit them.

Interventions for Safety

What can be done to protect students as they travel to and from school? Experts suggest a number of tips:

  • High risk areas should be identified and appropriate interventions implemented;
  • Drop off and pick up policies should be posted and enforced;
  • Speed limits should be posted at 20 mph in school zones (currently only 40 percent adhere to this tip);
  • Students should be reminded to cross streets in crosswalks and to look both ways before crossing. They should never to cross against the light;
  • Pedestrians and drivers alike should avoid being distracted by mobile devices;
  • Drivers should not double park or stop in the middle of a crosswalk in order to drop off or pick up students;
  • Signage reminding everyone Heads up, Phones down tend to reduce school zone accidents.

Contact Us When Injuries Occur

At the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton, we hope you never need our help due to a child’s accident on the way to or from school. In the event your child does incur a serious injury, our compassionate, yet aggressive legal team can investigate the circumstance and provide the legal guidance you need. Contact us in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a free, confidential consultation.