The school season is one of the trickiest and most challenging times of the year, especially for drivers who regularly take routes within populated school districts. Children will still be children at the end of the day. They cannot always be expected to make logical or even reasonable decisions even when told by their parents exactly what to do and what not to do on their way to and from school.
With that in mind, the responsibility of making sure school children are not victims of car accidents lies with drivers. Drivers have to do everything in their power and take all necessary precautions to secure the safety of school children on the roads. It is worth noting that Florida, and Miami in particular, has some of the strictest traffic laws in the country, which are even stricter where the safety of minors is involved. Be sure to stick to these back to school driving tips.
The first tip for drivers during the school season is to know all the risk factors involved and how to deal with them. In particular, they must know the places and situations where school children are most likely to be hit and how to handle and avoid these potentially dangerous situations.
According to data provided by the National Safe Routes to School Program, most school children involved in car accidents are hit near their schools. The accidents occur mostly while the children are either being dropped off at or picked up from school. As a driver who may frequent these locations while navigating to work, it is in your best interest to know exactly how to prepare for the increase in traffic and activity on the road. At the minimum, you should do the following:
- Do not drop your own children or pick them up across the street from their school. Most schools in Florida, fortunately, have special guidelines and designated areas where the children should be dropped off and picked up.
- Do not double park. Double parking reduces visibility for other drivers and children, thereby increasing the probability of an accident.
- As a parent driver, give serious thought to the idea of carpooling with other parents. This will help reduce the number of vehicles in the vicinity of the schools and, by extension, the chances of car accidents.
Information provided by the National Safety Council indicates that the majority of school children between the ages of four and seven get hit while walking to or from school. This is another risk that as a driver can be avoided by following these precautions:
- Always obeying stop signs put up by crossing guards or school patrol officers
- Never passing a vehicle that has stopped for the sake of pedestrians
- Never revving or honking at a child pedestrian to prevent confusions that could lead to accidents
- Never blocking any crosswalk and forcing other motorists to drive around you since that may direct them right at crossing pedestrians
It is illegal in all states to overtake a school bus that has its red or yellow lights flashing and has stopped either to pick up or drop off children. In addition, you should . . .
- Always drive at least 10 feet behind a moving school bus so that you have enough time to stop whenever it starts flashing its lights
- Never overtake a school bus directly from behind if it has stopped to unload or load children
When Should I Seek Help from a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you have a child who has suffered an injury due to the negligence of another driver, our team is ready to help. With Miami’s strict traffic laws and its reputation for careless drivers, we urge anyone involved in or victim to a serious car accident to contact a Miami personal injury lawyer immediately. Our Miami personal injury law firm has investigated hundreds of traffic accidents for over 20 years; specializing in pedestrian accidents, hit and runs, bicycle accidents, and school bus accidents. Call our office today at 1-866-597-4529 or 305-441-0440 or reach us by email at [email protected]. We offer a free initial consultation and are ready to help you receive the compensation you deserve.