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What Are Some Important Back-to-School Safety Tips?

Loveland Car Accident Lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office Can Work With You After a Back-to-School Accident.

Now that school is back in session, you will likely see an increase in traffic and other road hazards. Not only do you see yellow school buses, but you probably see a lot of students standing at bus stops as well. Because of this, it is good to review safety driving tips.

Below are some of the most essential tips for driving during the back-to-school season. Following these tips may help you avoid car accidents, as well as the costs and injuries associated with them.

Watch for Student Walkers

Not all students take public transportation like buses and vans. Those who live close enough to their school may choose to walk alone or in a group. Your job as a driver is to remain alert for their presence. Students of all ages may choose to walk or run in front of your car without warning. This means you have to move slowly enough to have time to brake if necessary.

Pedestrian accidents often involve severe injuries. Even a pedestrian who is hit at a low speed can have serious or fatal injuries. Consequently, remain vigilant whenever students are crossing the street, including within the community where you live.

Follow All School Zone Speed Laws

By law, you must follow speed limits set up in school zones, and try not to be impatient when driving through one. Lower your speed to whatever the posted limit is, even if you are running late.

If you find the experience frustrating, consider changing your route to work or home to avoid driving through school zones.

Give School Buses a Wide Berth

You must give school buses a lot of room to maneuver. Never honk at one or try to drive around one that is stopped. Always stop when you are coming toward a school bus that is stopped on the other side of a normal two-lane highway or a three-lane highway if it has a turning lane in the middle. Violating these rules can lead to a ticket, fine, and the possible suspension of your license.

The best course of action when you see a school bus ahead of you is to slow down and pay attention. Be very diligent about taking your time and staying focused. Even if other cars are driving around the school bus, you should take the time necessary to understand whether or not the school bus is parked and out of commission before following suit.

Prepare for New Drivers on the Road

Summer is a great opportunity for teenagers to practice driving and also get their license. This means that many new drivers will be on the roads in the early fall months and during the new school season. However, new drivers do not have the experience to always make good decisions.

Your role as a more seasoned driver is to stay alert around new drivers. The best way to do this is to follow the rules of the road, such as abiding by posted speed limits and having an appropriate following distance.

If you are the parent of a new driver, consider allowing your student to drive your car to and from school for several weeks before allowing them to drive alone.

Avoid All Distractions

Distracted driving is something you should never partake in, and it regularly leads to car accidents. Some of the most common distractions are texting, talking on the phone, grooming, and fiddling with the radio. Yet, you could be distracted in other ways too, such as spilling your coffee or having a debate with a passenger.

If you have pets that travel in the car with you, invest in a pet carrier. Though it may seem fun to have your pet sit on your lap or next to you while driving, you put yourself at risk by doing this.

Whenever you can, keep all your driving distractions to a minimum, or eliminate them completely if possible. The more you can concentrate on the road, the less likely you will get into a car accident.

Prepare for Weather Disturbances

Back-to-school season tends to bring a lot of weather changes, including rain and maybe even an early snow shower. Fog also can be a huge problem, depending on where you live and travel. Before you leave your home or workplace, check on the anticipated weather conditions.

What happens if you get surprised by a downpour or a snow squall? Slow down and make smart decisions. Sometimes, the best choice is to find a safe place to stop your car until the dangerous weather passes.

As a reminder, you may not be able to see school students who are walking when the weather is poor. Be extra careful when approaching crosswalks and driving in residential neighborhoods before and after school hours.

Talk to Your Children About Traffic

You may have young children, middle schoolers, or teenagers at home. Early in the school year is a great time to talk with them about being conscientious when they are walking, bicycling, or driving. Having these conversations could make a world of difference in their safe travel from one point to another.

Additionally, you may want to focus your discussions on cellphone use. Children with cellphones often look at their screens while walking. Far too many car accidents involving pedestrians can be traced back to pedestrians looking at their phones instead of watching for vehicles.

Teach School Bus Safety

Yellow school buses are usually not equipped with seat belts. This can lead some children feeling free to move around when they should not. Your job as a parent is to educate your children on how to behave on the school bus to reduce their risk of falling in the aisle or distracting the bus driver.

Some important school bus safety tips include:

  • Wait until the school bus is completely stopped to get on or off.
  • Once seated, do not switch seats, even at stop signs or red lights.
  • Do not try to talk to the driver unless it is an emergency.
  • Use a seat belt if it is available.

What to Do After a Back-to-School Accident in Ohio?

A back-to-school car accident can happen, even if you are a careful driver. After a crash happens, it is advisable to speak with a lawyer. Ohio has complex laws, and a lawyer can help you through the legal process.

Ohio follows the legal principle of “modified” comparative negligence. This means that each party is assigned a percentage of fault for an accident. The claimant’s percentage of fault will be deducted from the overall compensation award. Keep in mind that the claimant is barred from compensation if they are more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.

Additionally, you have two years to bring a personal injury lawsuit, so you should act quickly after a car accident. Most law firms offer free consultations to help you decide how to proceed after you have been hurt in a crash. Be sure to contact a lawyer sooner rather than later. The sooner you get started, the sooner you may be able to recover compensation to cover your losses.

Loveland Car Accident Lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office Can Work With You After a Back-to-School Accident

Being in a back-to-school car accident can be overwhelming. Talk with one of our experienced Loveland car accident lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office about your legal options today. Located in Loveland, Ohio, we serve clients in Forest Park, Norwood, Fairfield, and Hamilton County. Call us at 513-488-1135 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation.