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Each September, the new school year brings the return of school buses on the roads and increased motor vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic in neighborhoods. This can lead to a spike in the number of car accidents during the month of September, especially those involving pedestrians. By remembering the following Back to School safety tips, drivers and students and can avoid car accident injuries.
It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing and stop-arm extended. By choosing to ignore this law and pulling around a stopped school bus or driving on the shoulder of the road, drivers put the safety of students getting on or off the school bus at serious risk. In most cases, drivers on both sides of the road must stop. There are some exceptions for the opposite lane drivers on a divided highway. All vehicles behind the bus must stop, regardless of the type of highway.
Many state transportation departments have safety initiatives targeting the failure of motorists to stop for school buses. In Pennsylvania, the Operation Safe Stop program holds an annual event with extensive media coverage inviting school bus drivers to report violations of the stop-arm law.
The National Safety Council found young children walking to school are particularly vulnerable to being injured by a car. Motorists should always stop before the crosswalk at a red light, giving pedestrians a clear path across the intersection. Pedestrians forced to walk around cars can be placed in the path of moving traffic and struck.
Follow the directions of school crossing guards or safety officers to allow students to safely cross streets near the school. Flashers indicate motorists are entering a school zone, where they must stop and yield to students crossing an intersection.
Drivers should leave at least three feet between their vehicle and bicyclists traveling on the side of the road. Bicyclists are most frequently struck by cars making a left turn in front of them. When making a left turn, allow for bicyclists traveling in the opposite direction to pass first. Drivers making a right turn should allow bicycles behind them to first proceed through the intersection. Expect young bicyclists to stop suddenly or come out from between parked cars.
Students traveling to school by bicycle can be particularly difficult to see. Therefore, motorists should take special care around schools or in residential neighborhoods where children on bicycles are more common.
School zones often have specific drop-off procedures in place to protect the safety of students. These can include specific places to park and pick up students traveling by car. Dropping students off in non-designated areas, such as across the street from the school, can create a hazardous situation. Double parking instead of parking in designated areas can block or reduce visibility, potentially leading to crashes.
If you or a loved has been injured in a car accident, you are not alone. The experienced car accident lawyers at Williams Cedar are ready to work with your family to help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey to serve injured individuals throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey. To schedule a free confidential consultation with an experienced Cherry Hill car accident lawyer today, call us at 215-557-0099 or 856-470-9777 or submit an online inquiry form.