School is in Session – It’s Time for a Few Safety Reminders

by Terry Bryant

Millions of Texas school children ride the bus to school every day, and many others ride with parents or walk. As everyone readjusts to the schedule of a new school year, it’s important that we remember why safety is such a major concern this time of year.

Every year, hundreds of accidents occur in Texas school zones. Some of these accidents are the result of vehicle collisions, while others stem from pedestrian accidents. School zones are established to create greater safety awareness and enforce stricter traffic laws. Drivers have a greater responsibility to protect our youngest pedestrians, and establishing better driving habits during the beginning of a school year will ensure that we reduce the number of school zone accidents.

It’s not just good for school children when motorists follow school zone laws, it’s also good for drivers. Violating school zone laws result in double fines for drivers, which can lead to a penalty of up to $1,000. In other words, it’s in everyone’s best interests to follow the rules of the road once school is back in session. Look’s look at how students and drivers can make sure everyone is as safe as possible.

Safety Tips for Drivers

Remember that whenever you see a school bus’s lights flashing yellow, the bus is about to come to a complete stop. Never pass a school bus with flashing red lights and a deployed stop sign. Regardless of what side of the road you are on, come to a complete stop and make sure students are in the clear before moving forward. School zones have lower speed limits in the mornings and afternoons. Always be mindful of those times and adjust your speed in accordance with the school zone speed limits.

It’s also important for drivers to be cautious when driving in parking lots, especially school parking lots. Children could be walking or darting between lanes and vehicles. Reduce your speed significantly when driving in areas where children might be walking.

Safety Tips for Students

Children are perhaps most vulnerable to injury when getting off their school bus. Students should take five big steps when getting off a bus and always leave plenty of space between themselves and the vehicle. School buses have blind spots that include several feet around the perimeter of the vehicle. This is called the “danger zone,” and it’s vital that children stay clear of this zone at all times.

Children should also stick to sidewalks when possible. If a sidewalk isn’t available, they should walk against traffic, leaving plenty of space between themselves and the road. When crossing the street or walking in parking lots, students should always look both ways to be sure there is no oncoming traffic.

By keeping an eye out for others and always being cautious, we can greatly reduce the number of crashes that occur in Texas school zones. If you or a loved one has questions about a vehicle accident in Texas, we encourage you to reach out to us at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law.

To schedule a free consultation with Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, contact us today by filling out our online contact form or giving us a call at 1 (800) 444-5000 or locally in the Houston area at (713) 973-8888.