With the annual arrival of the Labor Day holiday weekend also comes the start of the school year and the end of summer. That means a lot of teenagers will be driving, walking, and riding bikes to school, as well as taking the bus.
Car accidents are the leading cause of death of teenagers in the United States. Particularly, male teenage drivers are at the most risk for a car accident due to these motorists acting more recklessly. For this reason, everyone should be extra cautious when school is in session.
Since there will be more students and vehicles on the road, you should review back-to-school safety tips to reduce your likelihood of a car accident. Listed below are ways that you can stay safe during the school year.
Leave the Cellphone Alone
Distracted driving has become a truly deadly problem. Despite continual warnings to avoid cellphone use while behind the wheel, distracted driving continues to be a leading cause of teen-related car accidents that lead to injuries and deaths.
Teenage drivers are not the only offenders of distracted driving, however. No matter the driver’s age, they should leave their cellphone alone. You can safely store your phone away while you are driving. If you need to use it, pull over to use the device.
Use Driving Apps in Newer Vehicles
Families with teenage drivers who use vehicles with onboard programs should make use of those programs. A teenage driver program can limit the top speed and acceleration. It also can record the teenager’s driving behavior and alert parents to aggressive or improper driving practices.
Abide School Bus Safety Laws
Parents should review school bus safety tips with their children, which includes waiting for the bus. Young students are easy for drivers to miss, even when they are looking out for them. Pennsylvania requires all motorists to come to a complete stop at a safe distance from a school bus when its red flashers are on and its stop-arms are extended.
When driving through a residential neighborhood, do not pass a stopped vehicle. A stopped vehicle in the middle of the road could be waiting for a small child to safely cross the street. If so, a motorist suddenly passing the safely stopped vehicle could wind up running over the small child. If a school bus is in the immediate vicinity, odds are that a small child is the reason another driver chose to stop in the middle of the road.
Learn the Local School Hours
The closer people live to a public or private school, the more likely back-to-school traffic will affect them. Fortunately, schools and their respective buses stick to highly regulated schedules that make it much easier to predict when school traffic will be at its worst. That predictability makes it very easy for local residents to avoid peak times for school traffic.
Look Out for Children Near Bus Stops, Schools, and Playgrounds
While heading out to work in the morning, dropping one or more children off at school, or driving where students will be around, drivers have to slow down and pay close attention. A young child could chase a ball into the street without realizing they are running in front of a car.
Whenever motorists are in locations where children are present, including bus stops, schools, and playgrounds, it always pays to slow down. Children depend on experienced adult drivers to look out for the most vulnerable people, including young school children.
Be Wary of Bicycles, Scooters, and Skateboards
Students have a variety of ways to get to and from school without taking a bus or car. Skateboards, scooters, and a variety of self-propelled devices now enable people to move about more quickly on sidewalks and roadsides. That includes a lot of young children who might be more difficult to see moving quickly between vehicles and off of sidewalks and onto the streets during peak pedestrian hours.
Watch for Crossing Guards
School zones generally have lower speed limits, and the presence of crossing guards is a sure sign that a school and its young students are nearby. A flashing yellow light and signage indicating slower speeds due to the presence of schoolchildren during school hours is how most school zones are announced, and police enforce the lower speed limits. Penalties typically are higher when ticketed for a moving violation in a designated school zone.
No Engine Revs or Obnoxious Honking
Another good way to help ensure school children have a safe journey to and from school is to lay off of the horn. Also, do not aggressively rev the engine while stopped, especially at a school crosswalk or a bus stop. Revving the engine or honking the horn in an obnoxious manner could cause a student or another motorist to panic or otherwise do something unpredictable.
Northeast Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Wiggins Law, LLC Help Clients Navigate the Legal Side of Back-to-School Accidents
The start of the school year always brings new dangers for pedestrians and motorists. If you or your child becomes involved in a back-to-school accident, our Northeast Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Wiggins Law, LLC can help. Call us at 267-225-0770 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Northeast Philadelphia, and we proudly serve clients throughout the Philadelphia area, including Kensington, Tacony, Torresdale, Mayfair, Port Richmond, Allegheny, and Olney.