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What would you guess is causing the distraction in school zones?
When you come across a flashing “School Zone” sign, do you groan as you press on your brakes? Most people don’t particularly enjoy driving like a grandma. But have you ever really thought about the young lives at stake?
School zones are designed to help maintain the safety of children as they arrive at and leave school. Youngsters walking around outside of school are less apt to be watchful and careful, which can cause major accidents. The slow speed limits help increase the ability of a driver to come to a halt if a child unexpectedly walks in the road. Yet, studies by the Transportation Research Board shows that 25,000 children are injured every year in school zone accidents. What do you think plays a role in children getting hurt despite prevention efforts?
A group called “Zendrive” conducted a study within 75,000 schools, analyzing 4 million drivers. The results showed that ONE IN THREE people driving through school zones are distracted. By what? Cell-phones! Having your eyes glued to your cell phone impairs your ability to drive. If you’re not aware of your surroundings, how will you know if a child is walking in front of your car?
Not only are drivers at fault, pedestrians can be at fault too. People in cars aren’t the only ones distracted. Do you ever notice teenagers walking down the street staring at their devices? It’s equally as possible for the pedestrian to walk out into the street without looking both ways, causing an accident.
Instead of being careless and causing injuries, we can take steps to ensure safety of children. When you are in a school zone, lights are flashing to make you aware. Assume there are always children around and be on the lookout. Be sure to follow the speed limit signs; it’s necessary. If you’re dropping your child off, do so right beside the sidewalk; not across the street. Help your children be more aware of the dangers of distracted walking. Remind them yet again to look both ways when they cross the street.