Schools are back in session and along with the excitement of a new year and getting the kids back into a routine also comes an increase in cars and roadway congestion. It also means more pedestrian activity on the street as many kids travel to and from school on foot or on a bicycle. It’s important to remember to exercise extra care when driving near schools and remind your children of best safety practices when walking or riding a bike. If each of us drives responsibly and stays alert to the presence of pedestrians and bicyclists, we can help prevent collisions and injuries. At Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, we have seen many unnecessary tragedies on the road. That is why our Baton Rouge law firm has offered a few tips below to help families in our community have a happy and safe school year.
- Put the cell phone down. When you’re driving that is the only task you should be doing. Texting, eating, applying make-up, using social media, and using a navigation system while driving are all activities that take your attention and eyes off the road. All of these tasks can wait and should never be attempted while operating an automobile. Plus using a mobile device in a school zone is against the law in most communities.
- Always stop when traveling behind a school bus. Don’t attempt to pass if you think the bus is preparing to or has come to a stop and kids are boarding. In Louisiana, that could result in serious consequences or even a suspended license. The law states that when a school bus is stopped on a road without a median, drivers on both sides of the road must stop. Remember that saving a few minutes time is not worth the risk of accidentally injuring a child with your vehicle.
- Teach children safe walking and biking behaviors. Many students walk or ride a bike to school each day, and this can present serious dangers if children are not prepared with the right information and safety skills. According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, children at an increased risk for being hit by an automobile in areas near schools. One of the best ways parents can teach their children is to model safe walking practices. Show them how to use crosswalk signals and find routes with less traffic. Educate children on the importance of wearing bright colors and make sure their bike is equipped with safety lights. In addition, children riding bikes should use sidewalks when available and, if they are under the age of 12, state law requires that they wear a helmet.
- Be alert and obey school zone speed limits. If you speed or violate other restrictions in a school zone you could face big financial penalties. Traffic fines are often doubled when the driving offense occurs within a school zone. It is also best to drive with additional caution when driving through school zones and on surrounding streets. Kids maybe walking or biking in the area so stay alert for children even when you are driving through outside of the designated school day hours.
- Plan ahead so you can take your time. Heavy traffic and accidents are realities of most drivers’ daily commute. When school starts there tend to be more cars on the road and with increased volume comes inevitable delays. That is why it is always advisable to leave early in the morning to ensure you are not rushing to reach your destination.
Let A Trusted Baton Rouge Law Firm Help Your Family After An Accident
The unfortunate reality is that we live in a fast-paced world and many drivers have lengthy commutes every day sometimes. In such a hectic environment, safety may not always come first. Accidents will inevitably happen but when you are hurt because of negligence or recklessness, you may be able to recover compensation to help you deal with the financial aftermath. If an automobile hits you or your child and you suffer injuries, contact our Baton Rouge law firm. Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys has served this community for more than 25 years and we have extensive experience handling legal claims for victims of car accidents. Call our team of lawyers at 225-888-8888 for a free consultation. You won’t pay any attorneys fees or costs unless we obtain a successful settlement or verdict for your case.