Back to School Brings Unexpected Hazards for Drivers

As we enter back to school season, drivers will be encountering more school buses on the road.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traveling by school bus is 13 times safer than riding in a passenger vehicle and 10 times safer than walking to school.  Most injuries from accidents involving school buses occur to children who are not traveling on the buses.  The accident lawyers at the law offices of Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates want to remind everyone of some important safety tips for sharing the road with school buses.

Traffic regulations regarding school buses vary state to state, but all 50 states have made it illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload passengers.  On undivided roadways, traffic in both directions must come to a complete stop.  Although rules for divided roadways vary, traffic behind the bus must always stop.  It is also illegal to pass school buses on the right, the side on which children enter and exit the bus.  When a driver sees flashing yellow lights on a school bus, the bus is preparing to stop, whereas flashing red lights and an extended stop sign indicates the bus is stopped to load and unload children.

Children Walking and Biking to School Need Driver Attention

Drivers should also be vigilant in areas where children are walking to school.  When arriving at a stop sign or red light, drivers should make sure the crosswalk is completely clear so that pedestrians can pass safely.  Take note of when school zone lights are flashing and give pedestrians the right of way at intersections.  Drivers should never antagonize pedestrians by honking or revving their engines.  In most areas, pedestrians have the right of way at all intersections, but drivers should always exercise caution around pedestrians.

Bicycles and cars must be careful when sharing the road, but drivers must be especially cautious in areas where children are biking to school.  Drivers should always maintain a safe passing distance of at least three feet when going around a cyclist.  When preparing to turn, drivers must make sure bicycle traffic has cleared the intersection before proceeding.  Look for signals from cyclists and always check for oncoming cyclists in their rear view mirrors before opening their doors.

Children can be very unpredictable and may not always look both ways or stay on the sidewalk.  It is up to drivers to look out for children and exhibit safe behaviors in school zones, residential areas, and near playgrounds.  If your child has been injured due to a driver’s negligence, an experienced auto accident lawyer can help you review your legal options and hold the responsible party accountable.

Philadelphia Auto Accident Attorneys at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Protect Victims’ Rights

The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates have successfully represented victims and their families in all types of auto accident cases.  If you or a loved one is injured in an auto or pedestrian accident, our knowledgeable, dedicated car accident lawyers will thoroughly review the facts of your case, prepare an aggressive legal strategy to pursue just compensation and give you the personal attention you deserve.  With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, PA and Voorhees, we help auto accident victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Call us today at 215-567-6600 or contact us online for a free consultation with a qualified car accident lawyer.