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Springfield Drivers Need to Stay Focused in School Zones

With back-to-school season underway, the focus is once again on protecting children from getting hurt during their commute. Each year in the United States, around 25,000 children get injured when going to or from school. A personal injury lawyer knows that many of these children are involved in collisions with drivers who are not following safety rules. school zone

The law requires drivers to slow down in school zones and to stop for school buses that have flashing lights and an extended stop arm. Unfortunately, evidence indicates that fewer drivers are obeying the rules and being safe because too many motorists are distracted.

Distracted Driving in School Zones

A new national report from Safe Kids USA demonstrates just how many motorists are driving distracted through school zones. According to the report:

  • One in six motorists passing through a school zone is distracted.
  • Out of every 1,000 female drivers, 187 are distracted as they pass through a school zone.
  • Out of every 1,000 male drivers going through a school zone, 154 were distracted.
  • 98 out of every 1,000 drivers were using their cell phones or utilizing another type of electronic device when driving in a school zone.
  • 44 out of every 1,000 drivers traveling in a school zone were distracted by eating, drinking or smoking while driving.
  • 19 out of every 1,000 motorists in the school zone area were reaching behind them or looking behind them instead of focusing on the road.
  • Nine out of every 1,000 drivers in school zones are distracted by doing personal grooming tasks.
  • Three out of 1,000 drivers in school zones are distracted because they are reading.
  • Drivers in minivans, SUVs and pickup trucks were more likely than other motorists to be distracted when going through a school zone.
  • School zones without flashing lights had more distracted drivers than school zones with lights.
  • School zones with an average daily traffic volume of 10,000 or more cars had higher rates of distracted drivers.

When motorists are focused on something besides the road, young school children are at risk. Unfortunately, drivers also endanger children outside of school zones who are getting onto or off of school buses. Although the law makes clear that drivers must always stop for a school bus if the bus has its lights flashing and its stop arm extended, many drivers fail to obey this rule.

In fact, according to an NBC News report, around two million more drivers illegally passed by stopped school buses in 2012 than in 2011. NBC had a video of one semi truck driving on the shoulder of the road and narrowly missing a school girl because the driver did not stop for the bus. The driver turned himself in for his actions and indicated he was distracted at the time of the incident.

Drivers need to stay focused on protecting kids from injury or death on the commute to school. While distracted driving is never OK, motorists especially should stay focused on the road when in a school zone or near a school bus that children are riding on.

Springfield accident victims should contact the offices of Tolbert Beadle and Musgrave LLC at 1-800-887-4030.

Preventing Springfield Bike Accidents with Back-to-School Safety Tips

Commuting to school via bicycle is a popular option for many children and college students. In fact, according to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, about four percent of bicyclists say they ride in order to commute to-and-from school. With around nine million bike trips every day occurring in the U.S., this means there are a significant number of people on the roads riding to and from class. Unfortunately, bike riding can be dangerous business, especially for young people. bike

Drivers need to be aware that their may be more kids on the road now that school is coming back into session. Parents also need to help ensure that their children are making smart choices and following best practices for safety when they commute via bicycle. If an accident does occur, victims and their families have legal rights. A personal injury lawyer can help.

Bike Safety an Important Issue

Kids who ride their bikes to school may face serious risk of injury or death in a motor vehicle collision. In fact, while just 3.2 percent of bicycle trips involve children who are aged 15 or younger, around 18 percent of total bike accidents that caused injury in 2010 affected someone under the age of 14.

Parents can do their part to try to keep kids from getting hurt on their bikes. Parents Central at SaferCar.gov provides information and advice for parents. Parents are urged to ensure that their children wear helmets while riding and that those helmets are properly fitted to the child.

Helmets cannot prevent all injuries or fatalities so the goal should always be to reduce the risk of a collision occurring. Choosing a safe route is one way to reduce the danger and 10 Characteristics of a Safe Route have been identified including:

  • Selecting a road where there is a low volume of traffic.
  • Choosing a road that has bicycle lanes, or at least sidewalks or paths for bicyclists.
  • Selecting a road where the speed limit is low.
  • Ensuring that the route does not have overgrown bushes or trees that obstruct the driver’s views of the bicycle rider.
  • Selecting a road where there are pedestrian crossings and where there are traffic signals.
  • Ensuring that the route has sufficient and adequate lighting so bicyclists can be seen by drivers.
  • Choosing a route where there are multiple pedestrians and bicycle riders.
  • Looking for an area where there is a neighborhood watch or other safety group to look out for people who violate the laws.
  • Looking for an area where there are pedestrian or bicycle rider groups led by safe role models.
  • Selecting a route where drivers are generally responsible and respectful of all parties on the road, and where the drivers generally obey the speed limit and other rules of the road.

Unfortunately, bicycle riders cannot predict the behavior of drivers, although driver actions are fundamentally important to safety. Drivers need to be aware there may be kids commuting to school and should take extra precautions to pay attention and be safe.

Missouri accident victims should contact the offices of Tolbert Beadle and Musgrave LLC at 1-800-887-4030.