In many areas, Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer vacation and a return to school for children. Buses are on the road, recent permit and license holders are behind the wheel, and traffic congestion is at an all-time high. There is also a huge influx of students, teachers, and parents walking to and from schools. This can create hazardous conditions, leading to pedestrian accidents, car accidents, bicycle accidents, or motorcycle accidents.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind this fall:
- First and foremost, the best thing you can do is be aware. Watch for stopped school buses, for children crossing the street, for new drivers, and experienced drivers learning new routes to school. This can help avoid an auto accident.
- Always, always, stop for a stopped school bus that has its lights flashing and the stop signs out. Passing a stopped school bus is illegal because it is unsafe. Children can’t see around the bus, and you can’t see them around the bus. Lack of visibility can cause disastrous results.
- Share the road, especially at drop-off and pick-up times. Times vary depending on the school and the district, but congestion on the road and pedestrian traffic is highest between 7 and 9 a.m. and 2:30 and 4:00 p.m. as these are the windows when schools start and end.
- Yield the right-of-way. PA Statute states, “When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.”
- Carpool with friends and neighbors to reduce congestion and the number of vehicles around the school at one time.
- Avoid double parking or dropping children off across the street from school. These can both lead to pedestrian accidents.
- Pay careful attention to school zone speed limits and obey them. Lower speed limits are in place in school zones because research has shown a significant decrease in severe injuries or fatalities for pedestrians hit at speeds under 25 MPH.
So, as your kids prepare to go back to school this fall, use these tips to keep everyone safe and avoid car accidents. And if you find yourself, a friend, or a loved one the victim of a car crash, motor vehicle accident, pedestrian hit by a car or involved in a motorcycle accident be sure to contact the attorneys at The Pagano Law Firm for a free consultation. Serving Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery and Chester Counties.