aasSchool Zone Accidents

School Zone Accident

A mother and child were struck by a car and injured Monday morning in Renton. The incident happened in the school zone near Benson Hill Elementary, at the 18400 block of 116th Ave SE, just after 8am. Police and Renton firefighters were on the scene after receiving several reports of two pedestrians being struck by a car.

A child is in critical condition and the mother is listed as in serious condition. Both victims were rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment.

The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene as officials are investigating the cause of the crash.  http://komonews.com/news/local/2-children-struck-by-a-car-injured-in-renton-school-zone

School Zones should be SAFE Zones

Every morning millions of kids head out the door on their way to school. Whether they go by car, bus, bicycle, or on foot–there’s always going to be some safety concerns. Inherently, schools and the areas around them are known as safe zones.  This implies children should be safest from traffic dangers the closer they are to their schools. Most schools post signs alerting traffic to their presence and to reduce speed accordindly.

Lowered speed limits, crossing guards, and clearly marked areas for buses and drop-offs are designed to keep children safe in their academic commutes. But all the pedestrian awareness campaigns won’t help if drivers aren’t obeying the laws and signs as well.

Unfortunately, more and more drivers are losing focus in their driving due to digital or cellular devices. In examining these possible distractions, there’s cause for a growing concern that the distractions may not be singular in nature. Secondary distractions, like wearing headphones while texting, or adjusting knobs and talking to passengers, can increase the risks for crashes. https://www.safekids.org/sites/default/files/alarming_dangers_in_school_zones.pdf

Pedestrian Safety–Slowing Traffic Down

In 2015, studies showed that 20% of pedestrian fatalities were children under the age of 15.

School Zone Accidents

Photo credit: safekids.org

Several advocacy organizations across the country are seeking to bring greater awareness to safety issues for pedestrians and children. They are challenging communities to identify high risk pedestrian areas and implement policies and strategies to increase safety-awareness for everyone. Some of these areas include school zones, crosswalks, and areas of high urban traffic.

Communities can band together with their local schools and law enforcement to help educate the public about pedestrian safety hazards. Some even advocate for lowering the speed limits around schools from 20 mph to 15 mph. Small decreases in speed can greatly reduce the severity of injuries and possible fatalities.

What Drivers can do in School Safety Zones:

Whether as a parent, or just someone driving through, everyone needs to be on the look out for the welfare of pedestrians and children all the time, particularly in school areas and neighborhoods. School zones are known gathering places for kids in mornings and afternoons while school is in session.

Drivers should always:

  • Slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits, both in school zones and in neighborhoods surrounding the school.
  • Comply with local school drop-off and pick-up procedures for the safety of all children accessing the school.
  • Avoid double parking or stopping on crosswalks to let children out of the car. Double parking will block visibility for other children and other motorists. Rain reduces visibility during the wet and foggy seasons– causing condensation to form on car windows.
  • Avoid loading or unloading children at locations across the street from the school. This forces youngsters to unnecessarily cross busy streets—often mid-block rather than at a crosswalk.
  • Prepare to stop for a school bus when overhead yellow lights are flashing. Drive with caution when you see yellow hazard warning lights are flashing on a moving or stopped bus.
  • Stop for a school bus with its red overhead lights flashing, regardless of the direction from which the driver is approaching. Drivers must not proceed until the school bus resumes motion and the red lights stop flashing, or until signaled by the school bus driver to proceed.
  • Look out for children walking or bicycling (both on the road and the sidewalk) in areas near a school.
  • Expect children playing and gathering near bus stops. Watch for children arriving late for the bus, who may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • Watch for children walking or biking to school when backing up (out of a driveway or leaving a garage). http://apps.saferoutesinfo.org/lawenforcement/resources/driving_tips.cfm

Proceed with Caution: Expect of the Unexpected in School Zones

Children can be unpredictable, so it’s best to always expect the unexpected! Maintaining a lower speed limit in school zones will make it possible to stop faster if necessary. Most accidents are preventable when a responsible driver is following the speed limit and have their eyes on the road.

A distraction may be as simple as sipping a cup of coffee or glancing down at a text message, but any number of distractions can take a driver’s eyes from the road and lead to an unexpected accident. When it comes to cars and people, pedestrians always have the right of way. It’s vital to stay alert and aware of your surroundings,particularly in the safety “zone” around areas with children.

Our Accident Lawyers and Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help

Personal injury attorneys concentrate their practice to specific areas of the law. At Fielding Law Group, we serve those who’ve suffered personal injuries and loss in cases like motor vehicle or pedestrian accidents. Our legal team bands together years of skill and experience to get you the settlement and restitution you deserve.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a pedestrian accident or motor vehicle collision, call Fielding Law Group today, for a free consultation about your case. Our personal injury attorneys are familiar with the antagonistic tactics and runaround strategies some insurance companies use to wear innocent victims down and get them to settle quickly. Let Fielding Law Group represent you to the fullest extent of the law and we’ll get you the highest compensation for your case. Remember—Don’t let an accident wreck YOU!