Children in the early years of schooling – nursery school, kindergarten, first and second grades – are the most prone to being struck by a motor vehicle. According to research by the National Safety Council, most children who are struck and killed by a car or a school bus are pedestrians between the ages of 4 to 7.
Thus, motorists must always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way. Of course, the same applies to young bicyclists. Youngsters on foot and on a bicycle often create special challenges for drivers because children lack the ability to determine traffic conditions properly and how to interact with such conditions safely.
Here are some back to school safety tips for dealing with and addressing the safety of young pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Do not block a crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a right turn. This will cause pedestrians to leave the crosswalk and potentially move in the path of moving traffic
- When a school zone’s overhead flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians using the crosswalk
- Stop when a school patrol officer or crossing guard holds up a stop sign
- Take extraordinary care to detect the presence of children in school zones, playgrounds, parks, and residential areas
- Do not honk at children who are pedestrians, even with the right of way
- Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles. One of the major problems with bikes and motorcycles is that they are difficult for other motorists to see on the road.
- Always use your turn signals, even if a car is not approaching, because a bicycle or pedestrian may be present and not within the line of sight
- When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between car and bicycle
- When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the bicycle to pass. The most common cause of a collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist
- When turning right and a bicyclist is approaching from behind on the right, permit the rider to advance through the intersection first
- Be vigilant for young cyclists who have a tendency to turn in front of a vehicle without looking or signaling
- Watch for bikes exiting driveways or behind parked cars
- Check side mirrors before opening the driver and passenger doors
By exercising the necessary care and caution, motorists, young drivers, and young pedestrians may co-exist safely in school zones. At Heintz & Becker, there are no fees or costs for our representation unless we get results. To discuss your case with a Sarasota personal injury attorney, call us at 941-748-2916, or contact us by e-mail. If you are cannot come to us, we can come to you. We have offices in Sarasota and Bradenton to serve you.