Updated Sept. 2021
After more than a year of remote learning and almost no trips to the bus stop for many students, it’s time for children to head back to school. Children across Illinois are riding school busses, bicycles, walking, and being dropped off before the bell rings. It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay closer attention to their driving before and after school.
As an attorney and father, every day I am personally involved in fighting for those who are injured as a result of the negligence of others. Injuries suffered by children, victimized in accidents while going to and coming from their school can be severe, are emotionally and psychologically draining, physically life-changing, and sometimes fatal.
As students head back to in-person learning, it’s important to remember how to keep young pedestrians safe. Here are a few ways that drivers can better share the road with children and keep them safe this school year:
1. Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians
The National Traffic Safety Council reports that most children who lose their lives in school transportation-related accidents are hit by a school bus or by a motorist illegally driving past a stopped school bus. Here are a few easy steps that can limit these tragedies:
- Don’t block crosswalks when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn. Blocking crosswalks forces pedestrians to go around your vehicle and outside the safety of the crosswalk.
- When in a school zone where flashers are blinking, reduce speed, yield to pedestrians, and proceed with great caution.
- Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
2. Sharing the Road with School Busses
When behind a school bus, allow greater distance for stopping. Don’t just wait for the lights to begin flashing. Some common-sense steps to limit tragedies are:
- Be extra alert for distracted children pushing, shoving, and running to catch the bus. Remember that children act like children, which means they can be unpredictable.
- No matter which direction you are driving, never pass a bus when it is stopped to load or unload children regardless of whether the lights are flashing or the “Stop” arm is extended.
- Stop far enough away from school busses to allow children enough space to safely get on or off the bus. The area 10-feet around the school bus is the most dangerous for children.
3. Sharing the Road with Cyclists
Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because they don’t always properly evaluate traffic conditions and traffic flow and can often be harder to see from your vehicle. You can help limit accidents with young cyclists by doing the following:
- When passing someone on a bicycle going in the same direction, drive slowly and leave at least 3-feet between your vehicle and the cyclist.
- When you are making a left turn, and a cyclist approaches in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass before making your turn.
- When you are turning right, check for cyclists that may be approaching from behind, and wait for the rider to pass before turning.
- Be extra vigilant for cyclists coming from driveways or between parked cars.
By exercising extra care and caution, drivers, school children, and parents can safely co-exist in school zones.
Chicagoland School Accident Attorneys. We Help Victims.
If your child is injured in an accident going to or from school as a result of someone’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your child’s injuries.
The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner are knowledgeable and experts in representing those who harmed by the negligence or carelessness of others. Claims for victims of tragedies in school zones and while children are traveling to school are complex and frequently multi-dimensional.
Insurance companies rely on professional adjusters to negotiate and fight accident claims. In order to deal with these professionals, you need a skilled attorney to protect your rights. We know your rights and the applicable laws. We are your advocates. We are experts at negotiating with powerful insurance companies. 50-years of experience counts.
The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner make the legal process as stress-free as possible. We focus on recovering compensation for you – while you, your child, and your family concentrate on physical and emotional recovery.
If you or a loved one is injured in a victim of the negligence of others, please call my office at 312-346-8465 or contact us using the form below.