Daytona Beach Lawyers Discuss Back to School Safety
During the 2011 to 2012 school year, there were a total of twenty-seven pedestrian versus automobile accidents involving students in Volusia County. Tragically, two students were killed and others resulted in serious injuries. Twenty-seven incidents are unacceptable for any single county. According to annual statistics reported by the Transportation Research Board, eight-hundred children were killed during normal, day to day school travel and one-hundred-fifty-two-thousand were injured, nation wide.
In one particular Volusia County accident, a sixteen year old boy was struck by a car at the corner of Volusia Avenue and East Ohio Avenue as he walked to school for the very first time. There were two other pedestrian versus automobile accidents that same day.
With the 2012-2013 school year upon us, it’s important to remember how to keep our children safe. The Volusia County School Board is working to create a safer environment for our students but there are also safety tools that we can and should use as parents.
Our Daytona Beach attorneys have compiled a list of 7-safety tips to practice this school year:
- Minimize distractions: Keep cell phone, iPod, mp3 and headphone usage to a minimum when traveling. Drivers should NEVER adjust an I-pod or text while driving and should only use cell phones when necessary. Each of these devices is guaranteed to distract a driver from paying the close attention required for the safe operation of a motor vehicle. Children should avoid reading while traveling by foot or bike because they too can be distracted from paying close attention to potential hazards around them.
- Use cross walks: When using a cross walk, pay attention to the signals, and look twice for cars that may be breaking the law. Pay attention to traffic patterns. Leaving 10 minutes earlier or later may result in less traffic flow, creating an over-all safer travel environment.
- Plan a safe route and practice it, repeatedly: Plan a safe, direct route that requires the fewest street crossings. Once you have a route planned, practice it with your child until they are comfortable.
- When biking, always wear a helmet: This is a no brainer since helmets are required under Florida law for all children under the age of 16. Remember that a helmet must be properly fitted and fastened securely to meet state regulations. A recent study reported that head injuries account for 1/3 of bicycle related injuries. As an adult, it’s important to set the example and be a role model for your child—always wear a helmet.
- Organize a “Walking School Bus”: Work with other parents in your area to create a walking school bus. This is a group of children, accompanied by a responsible adult(s), to and from school. In addition to practicing safety at all times, this is a great way for your child to socialize with other children.
- Wear reflective gear: Dark and rainy days happen, its’ part of life, especially during the summer months in Florida. On these days it’s important to wear reflective gear and bring a flashlight. A great idea is to invest in a battery powered blinking reflector that can either be worn on you or a bike.
- Always use the sidewalk, no matter what: Using a sidewalk is always a safe idea and luckily sidewalks are often readily available. If for some reason there are no sidewalks available in your area or the current one is under construction, walk facing oncoming traffic, remaining as far to the side of the road as possible to allow for maximum space between you and passing vehicles. If you are traveling by bike, ride in the same direction as traffic.
Whether you are travelling by automobile, bicycle or foot, our Daytona Beach lawyers recommend to always pay attention to traffic patterns and driver behavior in your area.
Have a great school year and remember to practice safety at all times!
The law firm of Seitz and Tresher represents the unfortunate victims of medical negligence, wrongful death, personal injury, and product liability. Over the past 20 years, our Daytona Beach attorneys have built a reputation for aggressive legal representation in the Daytona Beach and Central Florida area. If the unthinkable occurs, we would be honored to help you.
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