At Martinez & Schill LLP, our personal injury attorneys in San Diego are also parents who spend countless hours worrying about the safety of our young children while they are away from home.
As our California communities slowly recover from the pandemic, students of all ages are returning to school, with the National Center for Education Statistics reporting an average of 56 million kids going back into classrooms across the country.
Just as it was before schools were closed to help stop the spread of COVID, drivers must take precautions to account for increased traffic and dangers as children return to school.
Here are a few tips to help keep both children, parents, and other drivers safe as you travel alongside and behind school buses and in school zones throughout the state.
Top Safety Tips for California Drivers Navigating School Zones
Whether kids are walking, biking, getting dropped off in vehicles, or taking the bus to school, drivers must keep a keen eye out for students of all ages as they navigate school zones throughout California.
Safety is paramount to ensure school-age kids get to and from their classrooms each day without incident, and it all starts with drivers slowing down and obeying all school zone speed limits.
The other top safety tips for safely navigating school zones in California include:
Identify School Zones in Your Neighborhood and During Your Commute
Check for school zone signs, warning lights, buses, speed bumps, and crosswalks around schools, so you can slow down and spot any potentially dangerous circumstances before they can cause harm.
Never Pass a Stopped School Bus
When a school bus is stopped, whether inside or outside a school zone, there is a good chance its driver is picking up or dropping off children. Most school buses are equipped with yellow and red lights, alerting drivers to the movements, but some drivers are simply in too much of a hurry to stop when the Stop sign is out. This is incredibly dangerous and can result in seriously or fatally injuring a child.
Once the red stop sign goes out, your foot should be on the brake pedal.
Drive Without Distractions
If you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, put your phone down.
When traveling through a school zone or any neighborhood during bus pick-up and drop-off hours, it is imperative you remove all forms of distraction, including phones, onboard electronics, or other items that take your eyes or mind off the road.
Children are unpredictable and can step out in front of a vehicle without notice. If a driver is looking down at their phone when that instance occurs, the result could be fatal.
Never Stop Inside or Block a Crosswalk
Blocking a crosswalk requires pedestrians to walk around your vehicle to get to the other side of the street, which can potentially put them in line with other moving traffic.
Yield at All School Crossing Signs
When a school crossing sign is activated or blinking, slow down, check your surroundings, and always yield at crosswalks.
Obey Traffic Guards & Never Direct Pedestrians
Crossing guards can be found directing traffic near schools, particularly in areas that do not have traffic lights, to ensure buses and children can safely cross intersections. Allow the crossing guards to do their jobs, and never take it upon yourself to wave a child across the street, as it may provide a false sense of security especially if other drivers are not paying attention.
If you find yourself frustrated by school buses or school zones during your commute, consider changing your route to avoid becoming annoyed by the traffic patterns and delays. It just might keep both you, your kids, and other people’s children safe.
Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in San Diego at Martinez & Schill, LLP for a Free Case Evaluation
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by a negligent driver, including those operating inside and outside of school zones, contact our skilled personal injury attorneys in Riverside at Martinez & Schill, LLP to discuss how our lawyers seek real solutions that produce optimal results for our clients today by calling 951-200-4630 to schedule a free case assessment.