New school clothes purchased, backpacks packed, pencils sharpened – all signs it is that time of year again. Kids are going back to school. In addition to school bells soon to be ringing, school buses will be on the roads, school children will be crossing streets and parents will be rushing to morning drop-off and afternoon pick-ups.
The personal injury attorneys of Galfand Berger in Philadelphia would like to wish all of our clients and their families a safe return to school, but also want to remind you of the hazards that you may face and share some safety tips. As families reestablish their school time routines, applying some common sense, precaution, and awareness may help prevent accidents.
First and foremost, distracted driving is a dangerous activity that should be avoided entirely. This means that cell phones should not be used while operating a motor vehicle, nor should drivers text while driving. Driving distracted takes a driver’s focus off the road which increases the chance of becoming involved in an automobile accident.
Motorists must adhere to speed limits, especially in school zones. Moreover, it is especially important for drivers to pay attention to school buses because they make frequent stops and children are sure to be close by. If a bus stops, the law requires that you must stop and not pass it in either direction. Drivers who are aware of the presence of children on sidewalks and crosswalks, as well as those who adhere to driving laws especially those involving school buses, can greatly reduce the risk of a pedestrian accident.
Teen drivers may be especially vulnerable to the risk of an automobile accident and a concentration of new drivers in a school zone is a “recipe for disaster”. Because they are less experienced, parents need to remind their teenage children of important driving safety rules. Review the dangers of distracted driving with teen drivers. Rules regarding night driving, curfews and allowable number of passengers should also be discussed, and enforced, with teen motorists.
Many school children walk to school each day. Parents must teach their kids the safest route to their school, preferably one with a crossing guard. If a crossing guard is not available, parents should show children the most direct route to school with proper lighting, sidewalks, crosswalks, etc. If possible, find other classmates children can walk with to and from school. It is important to stress the requirement to cross only at intersections. The safest place for a child is on the sidewalk. This also holds true for children at bus stops. Remind your child that horseplay and running into the streets increases the chances of being hit by a passing vehicle.
Some children will ride their bicycle to school. In this case, bicycle safety must be practiced including wearing a helmet. Traffic rules must also be obeyed when bike riding, such as riding on the right-hand side of the road, with the flow of traffic.
The personal injury attorneys at Galfand Berger are committed to the safety of school families in the Philadelphia area and fight for the rights of children and their families affected by the negligence of others. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Reading, and Bethlehem, PA. We serve clients throughout Southeast Pennsylvania, including the Allentown and Harrisburg regions, as well as all of Southern New Jersey. If you require assistance or have a question regarding a personal injury matter or auto accident claim, call us today at 1-800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online.