Back to School Pedestrian Safety Tips
Schools are back in session throughout New Jersey, which means there will be a significant increase in the number of young pedestrians. According to the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, there are about 1.3 million students walking, biking, driving, or riding to school statewide. School zones in particular will be crowded with buses, passenger vehicles, and students. It is crucial during this time for motorists to exercise due care and for parents to encourage safe walking habits.
Tragically, no amount of safety precautions can prevent all pedestrian accidents from occurring. According to statistics recently cited by NJ 1015, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for New Jersey children. Over the last three years, 71 children under the age of 18 were killed in car accidents, including 21 pedestrians.
There are a number of safety tips that all motorists and pedestrians should remember this time of year. If you are a driver in New Jersey:
- Be aware of the time of day and when schools start and end in your neighborhood.
- Remember that children can dart into traffic with no warning. Pay attention and slow down when near schools.
- Be patient in school zones and never try to pass a vehicle that has stopped at a crosswalk.
- Put away your cell phone. Distracted driving is a common contributing factor in fatal pedestrian accidents.
- Reduce your speed in school zones. You will have more time to react to a potential accident scenario if you go slowly.
If you are walking to school:
- Look left, right, and left again before stepping into traffic.
- Always wait before crossing the road. Look and listen for traffic.
- Only cross the street in crosswalks and at intersections.
- Obey all traffic lights and instructions from crossing guards.
- Give yourself plenty of time so that you are not rushed. Running into traffic, chasing after a bus, or running across the road in a hurry will only put you in harm’s way.
The New Jersey pedestrian accident attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. wish you and yours a safe school year. If you or a loved one is hurt in a car accident, please call our offices at (609) 240-0040 to discuss your legal rights and options.
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