Many elementary schools are going online for the beginning of the new school year. Other schools, including many private or parochial schools, are returning for in-class sessions. Parents may worry about what happens to their child at school, if they are being bullied or getting hurt on the playground. However, many injuries to children occur when they are on their way to or from school.
School Kids At Risk of Auto Accident Injuries
Each morning and afternoon, many kids across the country walk or bike to school. Younger kids may be accompanied by a parent, babysitter, or older sibling. Older kids may be able to get to school on their own. With these children on the streets, intersections, and sidewalks, they are at risk of injury from negligent drivers.
Kids may not always listen to the teachings about looking both ways before crossing the street and may rush out from behind a car. Young people are often distracted while walking to school by talking to friends, watching videos on their phones, or have headphones that drown out the sounds around them.
There is a good reason why speed limits are reduced in school zones. At lower speed, cars have a shorter stopping distance. Alert drivers should be able to slow down and stop when they see a child, pedestrian, or cyclist suddenly come out of nowhere into traffic. Unfortunately, not all drivers follow the speed limit or pay attention to the road.
Pedestrian Accidents on the Way To School
Earlier this year, shortly before 7 a.m., an 8-year-old child was hit as he ran to get on the school bus. The Berks County child was running down the steps from his house and across the street to the waiting school bus. A driver said they did not see the boy and hit the child, who was flown to the Hershey Medical Center, in critical condition.
In 2018, a 16-year-old Maryland high school student in Hartford County was killed after being hit by a car as he ran towards the school bus. The student was running late and ran to catch the bus when a driver of a Chevy Tahoe hit the student. Police said the student was within the crosswalk at the time he was hit. The student was taken to the hospital but died from his injuries.
Drivers Failing to Stop for a School Bus
In Maryland, drivers are required to stop for school buses when the red lights flash. This includes both directions of traffic. Many drivers are either unaware of the law or willfully break it by going around the bus, which could put children at risk of injury. Drivers cannot always see kids who cross the road right after being let off from the bus.
According to a news article, in 2018, Maryland issued more than 54,000 citations for passing school busses. A ticket may result in a fine of up to $500 but the real danger is for kids at risk of getting hit. Montgomery County police have released more than a dozen hard-to-watch videos of drivers putting children at risk, including a student who was hit when a driver failed to stop for a school bus.
Injury Claims for Students Hurt on the Way to School
Children should be able to get between school and home safely, without negligent drivers putting them at risk of harm. If your child was involved in an accident on the way to school, the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian may be able to help. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with pedestrian and cyclists injury claims in Philadelphia, DC, and Baltimore. Contact us today for a free consultation.