There are approximately 56.6 million kids currently enrolled in elementary and secondary schools throughout the United States, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, and every day, many of these children walk through school zones. But school zones aren’t always safe. Indeed, SafeKids.org observed unsafe driver behavior in nearly one out of every three school zone drop-offs or pick-ups, and statistics tell us that there are five teen pedestrian deaths every week. Our Austin pedestrian accident attorney is passionate about reducing the number of pedestrian accidents and school zones and elsewhere. Here are some things that you can start doing today to mitigate an Austin school zone accident.
One of the biggest threats to drivers and pedestrians alike is the risk of driver distraction, especially in a school zone. When drivers turn their attention away from the road for even a short amount of time, the consequences can be deadly. When you’re behind the wheel, say “no” to distractions. This means putting away a cell phone, stopping your car in a safe location if you need to attend to passengers (including children and pets), and refraining from eating and drinking.
Slow Your Speed
The faster that a vehicle is traveling at the time of impact, the more force that is involved in a collision and therefore the greater the risk of serious injury or death to the pedestrian. School zones typically require that drivers limit their speed to 20 miles per hour. If there are children crossing, even this is too fast. Slow your speed and wait until the coast is clear until proceeding.
Talk to Your Kids About Safe Behavior When Walking or Driving
Whether you have little ones who are walking in school zones on a daily basis or a teen who just got their license, it’s important to have a conversation about safe driving or walking behavior (whichever is relevant to your child). Walkers, including child pedestrians, are more distracted than ever before, especially with the ubiquity of smart devices and earbuds that encourage kids to look down at their phones and tune out. Remind your child that looking up and taking out earbuds when crossing the street is the safest thing that they can do, and discourage behaviors like running across the street.
For your teen driver, remind them of the basic safe driving techniques discussed above–the importance of driving distraction-free and slowing one’s speed–and the risk of having other teens in the car.
Call Us Following an Austin School Zone Accident
If you or your child has been injured in an Austin school zone accident, you need a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer on your side who will aggressively advocate for you. At the law office of Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law, our Austin pedestrian lawyer has the experience and passion that your case deserves. Call our lawyer today for a free consultation about your case, or tell us more by sending us a message using the intake form on our website.