As summer break comes to an end for Las Vegas, the back-to-school season has officially begun. With children walking, biking, and crossing the streets, it’s crucial for drivers to exercise extra caution to ensure their safety to help prevent school zone accidents. In this blog, the Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at ER Injury Attorneys offer some essential safety tips for drivers to help avoid school zone accidents and create a safe environment for everyone during the upcoming school year.
Obey Speed Limits
One of the most important ways to prevent school zone accidents is to obey the posted speed limit. Speed limits in school zones are lower for a good reason—to provide enough reaction time for drivers to respond to any unexpected situations. Avoid speeding in school zones to reduce the likelihood of an accident.
Watch for School Buses
Drivers should be extra cautious when driving around school buses. Always stop for a school bus with its stop sign extended and red lights flashing. It is illegal to pass a school bus when it is loading or unloading children. Failing to do so puts children’s lives at risk and may lead to severe legal consequences for the driver.
Maintain a Safe Following Distance
Maintaining a safe following distance is always important when driving but it becomes even more so when driving in a school zone. Leaving extra space provides enough reaction time if the vehicle ahead stops suddenly or a child darts into the road.
Use Extra Caution During Drop-Off and Pick-Up Times
Drop-off and pick-up at school can be especially chaotic. Exercise patience during these times, as traffic may be slower than usual. During drop-off and pick-up times, make sure to watch out for children running into the street. Scan your surroundings and watch for kids near schoolyards, playgrounds, and sidewalks. Also, avoid double parking, as it obstructs visibility for other drivers and pedestrians.
Distracted driving is dangerous in any setting, but it becomes particularly hazardous in school zones where children may unexpectedly dart into the road. Avoid texting while driving, adjusting the radio, or engaging in any other distracting activities while driving through these areas. Keep your full attention on the road and your surroundings. Stay focused and alert, as children can be unpredictable, and a moment of distraction can lead to a tragic accident.
Follow Crossing Guard’s Signals
School crossing guards play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of children while crossing the street. Stop when they hold up their stop sign and wait until all children have safely crossed the road. When driving in a school zone, following the crossing guard’s signals can help prevent school zone accidents.
Look for and Obey Traffic Signs
When driving in a school zone, always be on the lookout for posted safety and traffic signs, such as school zone signs, flashing lights, and pavement markings that indicate reduced speed zones or pedestrian crossings.
Be Mindful of School Hours
Be aware of school hours and plan your route accordingly. Leaving a few minutes earlier or later can significantly reduce the stress of navigating through crowded areas and lower the risk of accidents. If your regular commute passes by a school zone, be sure to know when school starts so you can plan accordingly. Additionally, you should still be cautious after school hours, as there might be school events and activities.
Yield to Pedestrians
Always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, especially in crosswalks. Be patient when stopping at crosswalks and allow pedestrians plenty of time to cross the street. Remember that children might not always be aware of traffic rules or pay close attention to oncoming traffic.
Be Mindful of Bicycles
Along with pedestrians, be on the lookout for bicycles. Las Vegas school zones often have students who ride bicycles to and from school. Give them ample space and treat them as you would any other vehicle on the road.
Educate Your Children About School Zone Safety
No matter how your children get to school, make sure to educate them about school zone safety. Remind them to be cautious when crossing the road, how to get on and off a school bus, and to obey traffic rules.
Injured in a School Zone Accident? Contact a Las Vegas Injury Attorney
By following these tips and being proactive in your driving habits, you can contribute to a safer environment in school zones and help prevent accidents. Not everyone will drive safely and follow the rules of the road. If that happens and you or a loved one are injured in a school zone accident due to the negligence or recklessness of another, the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at ER Injury Attorneys can help you obtain the compensation.
We’ve helped clients in Las Vegas, Henderson, Summerlin, Boulder City, and Pahrump who’ve been injured in school zone accidents. Contact us 24/7 by calling 702-878-7878, via LiveChat, or by filling out our contact form for your free case consultation.