Preventing pedestrian accidents during the school year

Many children are hit by cars when walking to and from school. Drivers have a responsibility to be aware of children near traffic and to drive safely.

The beginning of a new school year in Texas can be exciting for students and parents alike. Unfortunately, this time also presents numerous dangers for children who walk or ride their bikes to school or the bus stop.

Children are hit by cars near schools more often than any other place, according to the National Safety Council. They may be struck by inattentive or reckless drivers, but can also be hit by school buses. Most child pedestrians who are killed in school bus-related crashes are younger - between five and seven years of age. This is often due to the fact that small children are more difficult for bus drivers to see, and they may dart out into traffic or in front of a bus before its safety arm has been extended or after the arm has been retracted and the bus begins moving again.

Drivers have a responsibility to be aware of children

Often, children who are struck by cars while walking to school are hit by drivers who are passing a stopped school bus illegally or being careless near crosswalks and intersections. It is also easy for a driver to miss seeing a child in the early morning or afternoon, when the glare of the sun reduces visibility. Children, younger ones in particular, may take risks near traffic and often misjudge the speed or distance of an approaching car.

It is unclear whether a 12-year-old girl walking to school in San Antonio last April had been taking a risk in a crosswalk or was simply in the wrong time at the wrong place. According to KENS5 News, the girl had been walking with her friends, and did not have the right of way in the crosswalk when she was hit and killed.

This tragedy shows how sudden a pedestrian accident involving a child can be. Drivers may reduce the chances of motor vehicle collisions with children this school year by observing the following habits on the road:

  • Be aware of local school zones, watch for children before and after school hours and always follow school zone speed limits.
  • Never pass a bus that is stopped to let children on or off.
  • Stop at crosswalks or intersections when warning lights are blinking or crossing guards are helping children cross.
  • Do not pull out into a crosswalk at an intersection, which may force children to cross in traffic lanes.

Also, it is important to be cautious when driving in areas where children are likely to be present. In addition to school zones, these may be near parks, playgrounds, parking lots, driveways and residential areas.

Pedestrian accidents are known for catastrophic injuries. Those who were affected by a family member being hit by a car should contact an experienced San Antonio personal injury attorney.