Back to school is an exciting time for Texas families. It can also be potentially perilous. According to the National Safety Council, more children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location. If you or a loved one has been injured in a school zone accident, you have legal rights which must be protected. Contact a San Antonio car accident attorney as soon as possible.
According to AAA, new teen drivers aged sixteen to seventeen are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal traffic accident than adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. In 2015, a total of 2,333 teens aged sixteen to nineteen were killed in motor vehicle accidents. That means that six teens died every day as a result of motor vehicle injuries. These studies corroborate decades of previous data which has established just how dangerous teen drivers can be. But what, specifically, are the factors that cause this danger? And how can parents address these factors in order to reduce their teen driver’s risk of having a car accident?
Passengers are a critical problem for teen drivers. The New York Times reports that adding one non-family passenger to a teen’s vehicle increased the odds of having an accident by forty-four percent. Interestingly, distraction was found to be highest when male teen drivers had male teen passengers in the car. Male drivers with female teen passengers drove more safely.
Distracted driving is another common cause of accidents - one to which teens are particularly susceptible. Forbes reports on a Governors Highway Safety Association study which found teens to be the largest age group of drivers who were distracted at the time of an accident. While distraction is dangerous for any driver, is particularly problematic for young, inexperienced drivers who are not always prepared to deal with obstacles in the road.
Just last year, the San Antonio City Council passed an ordinance allowing the city to impose a fine against drivers who pass stopped school buses - all of which are equipped with cameras to catch violators.
Safety Tips for San Antonio Students, Parents, Teachers and School Staff
- Be prepared to react to sudden movements from both other vehicles and children entering or exiting the school. Young children, especially, are impulsive, and do not always follow proper safety protocol near schools. Allow yourself enough time and space to react to any unexpected obstacles.
- Do not make impulsive or unexpected movements. In a crowded parking lot, other drivers will often have no space nor time to react to your movements. Signal movements well in advance, and execute movements slowly to ensure your path is, indeed, clear.
- Familiarize yourself with drop off and pickup procedures at your child’s school before the school year starts. Heavy traffic and impulsive children can make it difficult to know where to go once school is in session.
- Do not double park or otherwise block visibility. In crowded conditions, it is especially important that drivers be able to around other vehicles.
- Teach your child to be particularly cautious in and around their high school. High schools have high concentrations of young, inexperienced drivers. Teen drivers should be prepared to respond to erratic movements, pedestrians, heavy traffic, and other hazards they will face at their school.