School zones are high-traffic areas where children may be present at any time. When passing through a school zone, drivers are legally obligated to slow down and exercise due caution in order to protect pedestrians. They are also obligated to heed any “STOP” or “YIELD” signs that are either posted, held by crossing guards, or activated on the sides of school buses. This means paying careful attention to the surrounding area and refraining from using a cell phone, eating, drinking, or engaging in other distracting behaviors. Although it may seem obvious to be careful in areas where children are often present, some drivers fail to do so. In fact, statistics reveal that as many as 100 schoolchildren are injured every year while walking in school zones.
If you are a parent with school-aged kids, consider the following tips to help protect your children:
- Use the designated drop-off locations in front of the school.
- Avoid parking across the street so that your child does not have to cross traffic.
- If your children must cross the street, make sure that they use a marked crosswalk or cross with a crossing guard.
- Teach your children pedestrian safety basics, including looking left, right, and left again before entering the street, only crossing when the “WALK” or green signal is lit, and never entering the street from between parked vehicles.
- Teach your children never to ride their bicycle through an intersection – instead, they should walk with their bike.
Your Rights After a School Zone Accident
Negligent drivers who cause injury to children are liable for damages. If your child was injured in a school zone accident with a careless driver, you may have a right to file a compensation-seeking personal injury claim or lawsuit. It is important to involve an experienced personal injury lawyer who can fight to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
If you have questions about a potential claim, do not hesitate to contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC to request a free case review with an Austin car accident attorney.