Traffic in California school zones is strictly regulated in order to protect our children from injury while going to and from school. A school zone is a designated area within 500 feet of the school in which the maximum speed limit is typically 25 mph. Some school zones may have speed limits as low as 15 mph. School zones are clearly marked and specific regulations are explicitly stated on road signs. However, despite extensive safety precautions and heavy fines for traffic violations, car accidents in school zones are all too common.
Nearly 25,000 children in the U.S. are injured by a vehicle in a school zone per year. From 2008 to 2017, 264 school-aged children were killed in school transportation-related accidents. Of these, 203 children were either walking, waiting for the bus, biking, or in another vehicle.
If your child was injured in a school zone in Manhattan Beach or surrounding areas, the Manhattan Beach car accident attorneys at Dinsmore & Sandelmann can help you pursue all of your legal options.
Best Safety Practices in School Zones
In general, motorists are required to be more cautious when driving through a school zone. Even at lower speeds, it may still take up to 30 feet for a car to come to a complete halt. Also, it will be easier for children to react to a slower moving vehicle than to one that is moving quickly.
Car accidents in school zones can still occur even if drivers obey traffic laws and speed limits, but the injuries caused by accidents and collisions with slowly moving vehicles are less likely to be severe or even fatal.
Furthermore, it is crucial that drivers eliminate any type of distraction when crossing a school zone. Cell phone use is generally prohibited, and motorists should refrain from listening to the radio at a very high volume, applying makeup, or eating. Drivers need to be prepared to stop at any time, should a child run into the road.
Vehicles must come to a complete halt when approaching a stop sign or signal to make it apparent for smaller children that they will wait until they have crossed the road. Watch out for obstacles in the road, including balls or other toys.
School buses may not be passed within school zones. Since buses are larger than most cars, it is hard to see whether a child may have stepped into the road with the intention to cross. Children behind the bus may not be able to see oncoming traffic. Motorists should always stop behind the bus until its hazard lights are turned off and it resumes its route.
Using designated drop-off and pick up locations prevents children from having to cross the road to get to school or access the bus. Further, parents are advised to teach their children safe practices for their walk and/or ride to school, including crossing the road at a clearly marked crosswalk. Children should only cross intersections where a crossing guard is present. When riding a bicycle, it is best practice for children to walk their bicycle across intersections.
Get Help from an Experienced Manhattan Beach Car Accident Lawyer
Following these regulations will reduce the risk of accidents in school zones immensely and help children stay safe on their way to and from school. However, not all accidents can be prevented. If you or your child has been injured in a car accident that occurred in a school zone, please contact Dinsmore & Sandelmann in Manhattan Beach today and schedule a free consultation with us. We are here to help you protect your legal rights and recover fair compensation from the negligent party.