Back to school is one of the most dangerous times for students, who face increased risk of school bus, bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Fort Lauderdale and throughout South Florida.
Fort Lauderdale school bus accidents are most common around the start of each school year and can result from driver inattention, an inexperienced school bus driver, faulty equipment or because of a dangerous bus stop, bus shelter or other gathering place for students waiting for a school bus. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that pedestrian accidents outside the bus account for 14 of the 19 bus-related fatalities that are reported each year.
Thousands more are injured in school bus accidents each year. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that 23 people were killed and 1,203 were injured in Florida bus accidents last year, which also includes crashes involving passenger and commercial buses.
Motorists are required by state law to stop for all school buses displaying red flashing lights. Passing is not permitted until the red lights have been turned off.
Bus safety tips include:
-Make sure they get to the stop on time and wait away from the road.
-Children should never attempt to retrieve something from beneath the bus.
-Talk to school administrators or the school district if you have concerns about the safety or location of your school bus stop.
Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
A significant number of students will be injured in bicycle and pedestrian accidents as the school year begins. Motorists are encouraged to watch for children, particularly in school zones and near bus stops and crosswalks.
The NHTSA reports that more than 80 young children a year are killed in bicycle accidents and more than 50,000 are injured. More than 250 are killed in pedestrian accidents and more than 69,000 are injured.
Speaking to children about the risk factors can go a long way in keeping them safe. Here again, motorists can do their part in helping to ease the transition into the school year by allowing extra time for their morning and afternoon commute. And by watching out for the tens of thousands of children who will be making their way to school this month.
Freeman & Mallard is a personal injury and wrongful death law firm dedicated to helping motorists who have been injured in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and the Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce areas. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-529-2368.