BOISE and NAMPA, Idaho. It’s that time of year again. School buses are back on the roads and your morning commute might take just a little longer on account of school zones. School days often mean more traffic. They also mean a greater risk for accidents. Here are some things you can do to drive safely for back to school.
- Understand your child’s school drop-off procedures. According to the National Safety Council, more child pedestrian accidents occur near schools than any where else. While every school will have its own rules for loading and unloading, there are some general rules that apply in all cases. For instance, don’t drop off or pick up children across the street from the school and carpool to help reduce congestion near the school.
- Understand school bus laws. The National Safety Council found that many of the children who are injured in bus accidents were very young—under 7 years old—and they were walking. Either the bus hit them, or they were struck by a driver illegally passing the bus. If a bus is stopped and its lights are flashing, all drivers, on either side of the road, must stop. You should never overtake a stopped school bus, unless the driver or another official signals you through. When you do stop behind the bus, give the bus space. Children may run behind the bus as well as in front of it.
- Drive slowly. Many of the accidents that take place in school zones can be prevented by driving more slowly and cautiously. Listen to the direction of school crossing guards.
- Kids should be taught about crossing safety and school bus safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the most dangerous places around a bus are 10 feet in front, 10 feet behind, and on each side. Always look left-right-left when crossing the street.
- Instruct children to put their cell phones away when walking to and from school and when loading and unloading transportation. Walking and texting is dangerous. It distracts individuals from focusing on road safety. Just as drivers shouldn’t text and drive, pedestrians should put away their phone while walking and crossing the street. This is especially true for children navigating busy traffic around their school.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 17 children die in school-transportation accidents every year. These numbers don’t account for the many people injured in school transportation accidents. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a crash, you may be entitled to receive money to pay for medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A car accident lawyer may be able to help. The Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen in Boise are personal injury lawyers who offer caring and compassionate counsel to car accident victims and their families. The days and weeks after an accident can be stressful for all involved. Visit johnsonandlundgreen.com to learn more.