It was exciting that school began last week but every year, a lot of people forget how much potential danger lurks. That’s because roads are more congested in school areas and people won’t put down their cell phones, even as kids are darting across the street. School buses pick up and unload over one million kids in Texas. So the need to be hyper-vigilent as we drop children off or make our morning and afternoon drives has greatly increased. Here are some helpful tips that will help stop these preventable car accidents with children.
Tips for children
While many of our school children are able to ride or walk to their schools, their chances of being injured goes up. An organization called Safe Kids Worldwide says that car accidents with children hurt 15,000 each year and that they are one of the top causes of childhood deaths.
So show your kids how to be safe by telling them to
- Stay on the sidewalk, not in the street, unless they have to cross it. If there is not a sidewalk, walk as far to the left as they can while facing traffic.
- Cross the street with a guard or adult present until they are age 10 to help them and to look both ways until they have made it across.
- Remove headphones and cell phones.
- Be careful getting on and off the bus and only cross in front of the bus when it is safe.
- Have helmets, lights, bells, and reflectors working and on.
We really need to teach our teens who are in a disproportionate share of these collisions.
Tips for drivers
Especially if you drive by schools or in the residential neighborhoods near them, these are important things to do to prevent car accidents with children:
- Slow down to less than 20 mph. And if you need a nudge, speeding in designated school zones can result in a ticket of $127.00 or more.
- Put down your cell phones – again, big tickets are handed out that begin at $200.00.
- Watch out for buses. Don’t pass a stopped one in either direction. That can cost $1,000.00.
- Note that all of the above will add also points to your insurance rating, increase your premium, and possibly get you cancelled and sent to the assigned risk pool. And of course, should a car or truck accident result, you and your liability company will be responsible for medical bills and other damages that are sustained.
- Obey crossing guards.
- Let your children out in loading zones, not across the street from the school.
- Expect the unexpected. Children can dart out between parked cars on foot or on their bikes.
Berenson Injury Law can help
No one should ever get hurt by a careless driver, especially a child. Our law firm wants to help prevent this from happening and works actively in the community to promote safety and health.
Mr. Berenson recently sponsored Fort Worth’s first-ever bicycle rodeo to teach kids and adults alike how to safety ride bikes and are planning another one in the fall. He was honored to meet her at the rodeo and get to ride with our fantastic mayor Betsy Price on the first day of her annual Tour de Fort Worth.
Our firm is also sponsoring more FWISD schools to get bicycles and helmets for their students and to have bike rodeos. We are working to get their schools to allow them to ride them in after-school programs and to and from school after our first school’s program in late May was successful.
Mr. Berenson is also partnering with the Blue Zones Project, Safe Communities Coalition, Cowtown Marathon, and other wonderful Fort Worth safety and fitness organizations.
Berenson Injury Law has helped victims of motor vehicle accidents across Texas since 1980 including the parents of children struck walking and riding their bicycles to school, riding buses, and getting on and off buses. Mr. Berenson was in court the last two days finalizing lawsuits involving two children (one a teenager) who had been injured when they were riding in cars.
Let’s be extra cautious so that our huge number of car accidents with children is decreased.