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Returning to school could present risks

With educational institutions returning to in-school learning comes the return of the traditional weekday commute that parents endure to drop off children before work. They are not the only ones on the road. They are sharing space with buses and children on bikes who are racing to get to their classrooms on time.

Schools specifically spell out procedures and recommendations for safe drop-offs in school zones. Double parking and parking across the street are discouraged, while carpooling is encouraged.

Multiple drivers traveling in multiple conveyances in a hurry to get to the same destination can be a recipe for disaster.

Crosswalk risks

The National Safety Council reports that a majority of children four to seven years old lose their lives in car and bus-related accidents while walking to school. Those accidents can be avoided by drivers exercising caution at all times. Proactive approaches include stopping before the crosswalk, stopping/yielding to blinking flashers in a school zone, and stopping instead of passing a vehicle parked to let out pedestrians.

Buses stopping

Car drivers traveling behind a bus can become frustrated at the slower pace and multiple stops. While the temptation may be to tailgate or try to drive around a bus while stopped, the dangerous maneuver could result in injuries or death of school-age children. Whether an accident occurs or not, passing a stopped school bus loading and unloading children is against the law in every state.

Kids on bicycles

Bikes ridden by children require a higher level of caution for drivers. Young people do not have the skills necessary to determine traffic conditions. Drivers passing them should move slowly and provide a wide berth of at least three feet. Conversely, approaching bicycles should be allowed to pass before a driver turns. Right-hand turns require stopping to get the rider get through the intersection. Turn signals are paramount.

In the end, vigilance is key while traveling in school zones and surrounding neighborhoods. Impatience by a driver can result in impulsive moves that could result in serious injuries or deaths. While criminal penalties exist, justice can also be found with the help of a personal injury attorney.