School will be starting in just a few weeks for kids all across the country. Some have already returned. This makes it a better time than ever to remind ourselves about pedestrian safety. As Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorneys, we have represented young victims who were doing nothing more than minding their own business, walking to school.
School zones can get quite congested. If you’re in a hurry to get to your job, an appointment or meeting, it’s easy to lose your patience and make an attempt to get through the zone as quickly as you can.
If you’re a student running late, darting across the road as soon as you think it’s clear may seem like a better choice than walking all the way down to the crosswalk. Hurrying through a school zone puts everyone at risk, no matter if you’re in a vehicle or on your feet.
There are things everyone can do to help ensure the safety of pedestrians. Read on to learn more about how you can help keep students and other pedestrians out of harm’s way as a new school year begins.
If you are in the pick-up or drop-off zone, follow the rules. Don’t double park and block visibility for other drivers and the children in the area. Resist the temptation to drop the kids off or pick them up from across the street where it may be less congested. Consider carpooling with your children’s friends’ parents in order to reduce how crowded these zones can become.
When you encounter a school bus, know how to react. A yellow flashing light means that the bus is about to stop. When the red lights are flashing and the stop sign is extended, you should stop at least 50 feet back and wait patiently. Never pass a school bus with yellow or red lights flashing. This is dangerous for everyone involved.
Follow the speed limit while you are driving through a school zone. Don’t block any crosswalks you encounter, and remember that pedestrians have the right of way. If there is a police officer or crossing guard, they supersede any signage in the area so follow their directions.
Do not pass any vehicle that is stopped to let people cross the street. Keep your guard up. Children can behave unexpectedly and dart out from between cars or into the road outside of a crosswalk.
Pedestrians aren’t the only people you may see in a school zone. Kids ride their bikes to school, so you’ll need to be on the lookout for them as well. There should always be at least three feet of space between your vehicle and a bicyclist.
Always check your side mirrors and look over your shoulder before opening any side doors. It’s one of the most dangerous actions for an unsuspecting bicyclist.
Drivers aren’t the only ones who have a responsibility to maintain safe habits in a school zone. Pedestrians should behave with safety in mind as well.
Stick to the sidewalks if you are walking through a school zone if they are available. Where there aren’t any sidewalks, walk as far to the right of the road as you can, or even in the grass.
Do not walk in traffic. If you are forced to walk on the road, walk facing traffic so you can see what is coming toward you.
The majority of pedestrian accidents occur when a person is crossing the road. Wait to cross until you get to a crosswalk or an intersection. Stop at the curb and look both ways before you cross.
Look behind and ahead of you if you are at a four-way stop. Make eye contact with any stopped drivers before you cross the street to be sure that they see you and understand your intentions.
As a parent, keep an eye on your kids. Don’t let your kids dart into traffic and make sure they are crossing roads safely.
Never assume that your children know how to behave in a school zone unless you have taught them. It’s always a good idea to walk your children to school until you are sure they can walk on their own safely.
School zones can be dangerous places. Both drivers and pedestrians are tasked with the responsibility of behaving in safe, predictable ways while keeping safety in mind. The next time you drive or walk through a school zone, pay attention to your behavior and see if there are any tweaks you can make to enhance the safety of everyone.
If you are injured as a pedestrian, you need a Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorney. Reach out to our office and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your legal options. We may be able to help you secure compensation for the financial difficulties you are facing.