Phoenix Children are at Risk for Accidents when Traveling to School

112116-300x225Phoenix, Arizona, is home thirty school districts, which includes 325 public schools and over 200 charter and private schools. This means every morning and every afternoon countless children make their way to and from school. Thus, it is important for all residents to be aware of transportation dangers to ensure everyone on the road stays safe.

Bus Safety
Nationally, over 23.5 million children use buses to get to and from school and after-school activities. School buses are one of the safest forms of transportation, designed to be safer than passenger vehicles and to prevent injuries during collisions. However, an average of six children die in school bus accidents in Arizona annually.

Many of these accidents are due to a bus hitting a child rather than a vehicle versus vehicle collision. Thus, it is important for parents to teach children safety tips for boarding and exiting school buses. Children should be taught to never board a school bus until it comes to a complete stop and to pay special attention to bus driver signals. In addition, when crossing in front of a bus, children should always wait for the bus driver’s signal before crossing and to look both ways to note traffic, twice.

It is also important for drivers to proceed with extra caution when near a school bus. Vehicles should observe a greater following distance if behind a bus because the school bus will make be making frequent stops. Drivers should also travel at slower speeds in order to respond to the possibility of children darting onto the road. In the early morning when it is still dark, drivers may be unable to see children waiting for the bus, so it is important to be aware of bus stops in your area. A driver should never try to go around a bus or pass a stopped bus given the likelihood that a child may be crossing the street to board or exit the bus.

Bike Safety
Bicycling is very popular form of transportation in Arizona. The Phoenix area is home to several of the nation’s most friendly bike cities, which makes bicycling a great option for commuters of all ages. Biking to school is great exercise and allows for a bit fun before the school day begins.

It is important drivers to remain vigilant during the early morning hours when children are traveling to school. Drivers should observe bike lanes and be especially cautious on roads near schools as student cyclists may not be as experienced as older cyclists when it comes to sharing the roadway or intersections with vehicles.

For parents, it is important to teach children and continuously remind them the importance of bicycle safety. Children should be encouraged to wear helmets at all times and to observe the rules of the road, including any rules that allow or prohibit children from riding on sidewalks in the Valley.

Young Drivers
A driver’s license is seen as a right of passage for high school students but it can be a nightmare for parents and other drivers on the road. Young drivers are usually very inexperienced and make up of the largest categories of drivers involved in collisions. Inexperience paired with distracted driving often results in young drivers causing collisions. Not to mention the fact that young drivers are one the groups most likely to be cited for speeding violations.

It is important for other drivers on the road to proceed with caution near high schools in the early morning and afternoon. The flood of teen drivers either rushing to make the first bell or hurrying to get home can make the road a dangerous place.

Prior Blog Entry:

Popularity of Cycling is a Contributing Factor to Bicycle Accidents in Tempe, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published January 21, 2017.

Resources:

School Districts, City of Phoenix.

School Buses, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.