3 Tips to Keep Kids Safe in School Zones

by Tim O’Hare

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dallas personal injury lawyerOne in five car accidents involves distracted driving. If you use your cell phone while driving, you are more likely to be in a wreck than drivers who do not — and it doesn’t matter whether you’re using a handheld or hands-free mobile device.

Although Texas currently has no law banning the use of cell phones while driving (except in school zones), several municipalities across the state have prohibited texting while driving.

The responsibility of keeping our kids safe in school zones lies with every driver in Texas. Most pedestrian accidents are the result of inattentive or distracted driving, a driver’s failure to yield right of way, turning into an intersection without looking for pedestrians, or pedestrians ignoring walk signals or crossing the street without looking for oncoming traffic.

Many of these pedestrian accidents occur between 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. when children are getting off school busses and crossing streets in school zones. These accidents can be prevented. Here are three ways we can help keep kids safe in school zones:

1. Put down the phone when driving through an active school zone. That conversation can wait, and isn’t worth the risk of potentially hitting a child crossing the street.

2. Slow down. The speed limit in an active school zone drops to 20 mph. Even if you’re in a hurry, don’t rush through a school zone. Children’s lives are precious. Receiving a traffic ticket in a school zone can cost you double what it would if you were pulled over outside a school zone.

3. Teach school-aged children the importance of paying attention while crossing the street. While slower speed limits and crosswalk guards help, it is important that children crossing the street pay close attention to traffic, look both ways before crossing the street, and don’t rely solely on the crosswalk guard to get them across safely.

When driving, always give pedestrians the right of way, even if they aren’t in a crosswalk. The use of cell phones increases the risk of accidents for both drivers who are talking on the cell phone and pedestrians who are crossing the street. Whether walking or driving, put down the cell phone and pay attention to the traffic and pedestrians around you.

If you have been injured in a car accident, or have lost a loved one in a wreck, call us. The experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare will guide you through your case and ensure you get everything you deserve.

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