Melbourne, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/05/2012 -- Driving safely isn’t just important to parents during school season; it’s important to all motorists on the road. Once tourist season ends in Florida, many drivers tend to think that the roads will become less congested. However, there are more pedestrians, particularly kids, during the school year, and with the addition of school buses, the roads are almost as busy. So, here are some tips for driving safely during school season.
- It is illegal in the state of Florida, as it is in all 50 states, to pass a school bus that has stopped to load or unload passengers. On an undivided roadway, traffic in both directions must stop until the school bus has turned off its red flashing lights.
- Always pay attention to the lights on school buses. They use yellow flashing lights to alert nearby motorists that they are preparing to stop. Additionally, you should remember that all school buses come to a complete stop before crossing railroad tracks.
- The area ten feet around a school bus is the area in which children are most vulnerable. Most of the children who are injured or lose their lives in bus-related accidents are pedestrians within this area, and are hit by a car that is trying to pass from behind the bus. Therefore, you should exercise great caution around a school bus, and never drive within 10 feet of one.
- Stay alert. Children can be unpredictable, and oftentimes they are comfortable with their surroundings when walking home from school or getting off the school bus, so they may forget to do things like look both ways before crossing the street.
- Never pass a school bus on the right, under any circumstances.
- The speed limit in Florida school zones is 20 miles per hour. Make sure to reduce your speed during designated times around schools.
- Never block a crosswalk with your car, especially when waiting at a red light and when waiting to turn right at a stop light. Check for pedestrians and cyclists before turning right on red.
- Even if you have the right of way, do not honk your horn, rev your engine, or do anything to startle a child pedestrian. Remember that if you approach a school crossing zone and the lights are blinking, you must yield to any pedestrian.
- In high school areas where teenagers may be biking to and from school, exercise caution. Always approach a bicyclist carefully and leave at least 3 feet of clearance. Remember that bike/vehicle collisions most commonly occur when drivers turn left in front of a bicyclist coming from the opposite direction, and when drivers turn right, across the path of the bicyclist.
If your child has been injured in a bus accident, or was injured while walking or biking home from school, do not hesitate to contact Sinclair Law and ask about how a personal injury lawyer can help you to receive appropriate compensation. Even if you have not yet had to navigate the legal waters of a personal injury claim, knowledge beforehand can be very valuable. Visit SinclairLaw.com today for more information about your rights.