Back-to-school season is officially here! With school back in session, so are the busier-than-ever roads. Each morning, everyone seems to be leaving for work or school on foot and in their vehicles at the same time.
Bus stops are full, parents are in hurried states, inexperienced drivers are carpooling, and young students are filing across crosswalks in busy school zones. During the back-to-school season, it’s more important than ever for drivers to be present and aware of their surroundings.
As personal injury lawyers, we have seen our fair share of unnecessary tragedies occur on the road. In these instances, we frequently handle lawsuits that pertain to distracted driving. You may think you can handle a quick glance at your phone or a quick response to an email while at the wheel, but this inattention to the road can cause a distracted driving injury. Many times, a catastrophic one at that.
During drop-off and pick-up, school zones often get congested and can be quite hectic with a combination of vehicles, buses, and pedestrians.
Drivers should always proceed with caution in school zones, following the reduced speed limit and being extra aware of their surroundings. Always follow the directions of patrol officers or school crossing guards to help avoid accidents in school zones.
When a school bus comes to a stop in front of you, you should never pass it from behind. Children loading and unloading from the bus pose a great risk for school bus accidents if drivers do not yield to buses in this way.
It is also very important to allow a greater following distance between your vehicle and the bus to allow for sudden stops.
We all remember the excitement of getting your license in high school and being able to pick up your friends and carpool to and from school. For inexperienced drivers, the back-to-school season can create more opportunities for distracted drivers. Cars are full, friends are joking around, loud music is being played, and the list goes on.
As parents, it is important that your teens are briefed on the consequences of distracted driving and are able to recognize the dangers when they present themselves.
Getting the family out the door in the morning can leave you feeling in disarray, but it’s important to leave the frenzied feeling behind once you get behind the wheel. With increased traffic on the road, we understand that you may be rushing to get to your final destination.
It’s better to be late than sorry. Try to plan ahead to help you get where you need to go on time. Saving a few minutes is not worth the risk of endangering children and others as they travel to and from school.
Being distracted in any way that causes an accident will usually be considered “negligence” and means that injured parties (including passengers) will be entitled to compensation.
Sometimes, there is a hesitation to file a claim when the injured person or their family knows, or at least empathizes with, the at-fault driver. We would all understand that the fellow mother down the street wouldn’t intentionally cause an accident. None of those considerations should affect whether or not you sue.
Insurance is expensive. We buy it so we are covered in the event of an accident. None of us wants to injure anyone, but if we do, we ought to want the injured party to be compensated if they experience pain and suffering after a car accident.
It would be bad enough for inattention to driving to cause an accident. Imagine being responsible for altering someone’s life. People have insurance to cover you if you are injured, whether you know them or not. We hope these tips will result in safer roads for all of us this back-to-school season. The car accident lawyers here at Robinson LLP have years of experience and can help you if you’ve been injured in a car accident due to distracted driving. Contact our legal team today to learn more or take advantage of our free consultations to help you get the compensation you deserve.