Teen drivers and other motorists are encouraged to start using more caution on roadways now that school is about to resume for another year. The fall season can present more risks for car accidents in Gastonia, Charlotte and elsewhere in the state due to the fact that motorists have to start sharing the roadways with school buses, child pedestrians, or school age bicyclists.
As part of a four-part series about “Back to School Safety” we will be offering many tips that can be communicated to everyone in your family in order to keep children safe as they head back to school for another year. Topics in the series will include: safe teen/motorists driver tips, walking and biking to school safety, how to avoid playground and other school-related injuries, followed by a series finale on the safe routes to school program in North Carolina.
As we begin our series with teen safety and driving tips for all motorists, Charlotte car accident attorneys know that now is as good of time as any to start getting in the routine of allowing extra time for the morning commute or training yourself to be more alert as you head to work or school each morning.
Motorists who are drowsy or distracted in the morning are at high risk of causing an accident this time of year. The National Safety Council and leading provider of school bus transportation, First Student, have teamed up to offer teens and motorists safety reminders to keep in mind as the school year begins.
“Research has shown distracted drivers ‘look at’ but fail to ‘see’ up to 50% of the driving environment, which can include student pedestrians and bicyclists,” said NSC President and CEO Janet Froetscher. “The back-to-school season is a good reminder to be responsible drivers as we all share the roads.”
Since teens are the age group most in danger of being involved in car accidents, especially those caused by distractions, the Council recommends that parents develop their own personal graduated driver license program for a young driver in your household. The more experience and knowledge that a teen can gain, the better off the teen will be in the long run as strong GDL programs can reduce deaths by as much as 40 percent, according to recent studies. There are six general principles to include in a family program. These include:
-Apply a zero tolerance law for your teen driver with regard to driving under the influence. No exceptions or excuses are permitted.
-Teens who wear seat belts can reduce injuries in a crash by 50 percent so create mandatory seat belt rule.
-Ban the use of cell phones by setting a good example and following the same rule every time you get behind the wheel.
-Limit passengers riding in the car with your teen until they have a year of experience under their belt.
-Limit nighttime driving by establishing a timeline guide. For example, no driving permitted after 10 p.m.
-If a teen experiences difficulty in making decisions in poor weather conditions or at night, they may not be ready to take the test for full licensing. Extend the learning period and supervise them in difficult driving situations so that they can gain confidence.
No motorist should be above being reminded of a few simple tips to remember as more buses, bicycles and pedestrians hit the streets in the next few weeks. Never pass an idle school bus that is loading or unloading children. Instead, look for flashing red lights and a motorized stop sign arm to indicate the bus is making a stop. Always allow plenty of space around the bus to ensure a child’s safety. Motorists that approach a crosswalk or intersection should always yield to pedestrians and obey the directives of a crossing guard or patrol officer. Honking your horn or revving your engine when you have the right-of-way serves no purpose except to scare the pedestrian or bicyclist. Be patient and wait for them to clear safely in front of you before you proceed. Always pass a bicyclist on the same side of the road slowly in case they make a quick decision and move left into traffic.
Motorists should expect to see children biking or walking in school zones or neighborhoods so use extra caution in order to avoid an accident throughout the school year.
If you or your child has been injured in a car accident in North or South Carolina, contact the accident lawyers at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965 today.
More Blog Entries:
Back to School Puts Children at Risk for School Bus Accidents in Asheville, Statesville, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, August 13, 2011
Most Wanted List Emphasizes Teen Driver Safety in Order to Reduce Car Accidents in North Carolina, Nationwide, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 25, 2011.
Neglect and Abuse Common Causes for Child Injuries at North Carolina Daycare Centers, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 18, 2011.