school-zoneIf you or a loved one has been injured in a school zone in Los Angeles or Southern California you will need an experienced attorney who offers personalized attention to your needs to be sure that you or your child receives the maximum amount of compensation available to them for their injuries. If this is you then please contact me today for a free consultation.

School zone safety

Road ways near schools are visibly labeled, and are designated with lower speed limits that the rest of the roads in the area. In California, any roadways that are within 500 feet of a school are posted as school zones, and the maximum speed limit in these areas is usually 25MPH. This is an effort to protect the children as they come and go, crossing the roads to get to their various means of transportation, such as cars, buses, holiday bus, and bicycles. But just because they are well marked doesn’t mean that everyone drives safely, despite the heavy fines, and accidents still happen. Nearly 25,000 children are injured in the US each year by car accidents on their way to or from school.

In order to keep children safe all traffic signs and safety regulations should be followed by drivers moving through school zones. This includes reducing speeds to the posted limits, stopping at cross walks, and keeping an eye out for pedestrians as they walk along or across the roads. Failure to follow these practices can put the lives of children in danger.

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Cars need to travel more slowly through school zones for several reasons. First, should there be a person or other obstacle in the road, the drivers will have more time to react, and the cars will require less distance to stop safely. Even at 25 miles per hour, a car may need more than 30 feet to come to a complete stop. Second, slower moving vehicles are easier to spot and react to, which is important for the children walking or playing near the roads. Third, should an accident occur, a slow moving vehicle will cause significantly less damage than a quickly moving one. The faster a car is moving when colliding with another vehicle, person, or object, the greater the risk of personal injury, or even death.

In addition to driving slowly, limiting distractions is also important. Dividing attention between the road and cell phone, car stereos, applying makeup, eating, or any other activity can drastically reduce the ability to react quickly to obstacles in the road. Children very often act sporadically and unpredictably, and may run into traffic without any notice. Should this happen, a driver needs to be prepared to stop or swerve out of the way.

Any time there is a stop sign or signal, be sure to come to a full and complete stop. Rolling through a stop without coming to a complete halt is dangerous, and doesn’t allow for cross traffic to pass, either vehicle or pedestrian. Small children who are unfamiliar with driving laws and behaviors may assume that a car that is slowing down will stop and wait, only to be hit when the driver then begins accelerating again.

Passing school buses is also dangerous, as well as illegal. Children are very likely to cross the road just before they board, or just after they depart. Buses are large vehicles that are difficult to see around, and a child may walk into traffic without being able to see oncoming traffic, or without drivers seeing the child. Stopping behind the bus and waiting for it to begin moving again will prevent any accident from happening as children cross the road.

Reduced speed limits, stop signs and signals, and traffic laws regarding stopped school buses are all intended to keep children safe as they travel to and from school, but none of them can achieve that purpose if drivers don’t to follow them.

If you or your child has been injured in a car accident in a school zone, contact us today for a free consultation.