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Drivers need to be aware of pedestrians as school starts again

Oct 17, 2014 - Articles - by Dodson & Hooks, APLC

As the summer winds down and the weather turns cooler, families in Louisiana and across the U.S. prepare for children to go back to school. Back-to-school time means that more children are on the roads walking to school or waiting for buses. In September 2013, AAA announced the launch of its annual “School’s Open – Drive Carefully” awareness campaign to remind drivers of the need to use extra caution now that the school year has begun again.

Reducing pedestrian fatalities

Since 1946, AAA has mounted a public awareness campaign to call attention to the need for safe driving habits when the school year resumes. The campaign’s goal is to reduce the number of child pedestrian fatalities. According to the AAA, 55 million children across the U.S. return to school each fall, and about 13 percent of those children walk or ride their bicycles to school. With so many children on the streets, drivers need to be vigilant – particularly on residential streets and in school zones.

Drivers should also use extra caution during the times when children are typically travelling to and from school. AAA reports that the afternoon hours are particularly dangerous for child pedestrians. According to AAA data, more than 25 percent of child pedestrian fatalities happened between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. over the last decade.

Safe driving tips

Drivers can reduce the chances of getting into an auto accident with a pedestrian by following a few simple safe driving practices, including:

  • Eliminating distractions while driving, such as cell phones, navigation devices and other hand-held electronic devices.
  • Travelling at safe speeds, especially in residential areas and school zones.
  • Watching for bicyclists and pedestrians at intersections.
  • Coming to a complete stop at intersections.

Speak with an attorney

Drivers need to be vigilant when they are on the roads, and need to share the road safely with pedestrians and bicyclists. In vehicle-pedestrian collisions, the pedestrian is at an obvious disadvantage, and the injuries are often catastrophic. Drivers need to be held accountable for the harm that they do to pedestrians. A Louisiana pedestrian injured by an automobile may bring suit to recover for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, and other expenses. If you or a loved one has been injured by a motor vehicle while walking, seek the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney with a history of successfully recovering compensation for auto accident victims.

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