With kids heading back to school this month, drivers can count on an increase in traffic, particularly during their morning commute. Police and school officials are urging motorists to have patience and drive with extreme caution during the first few days of the new school year, which officially begins  August 10th for Seminole County and August 14th for Orange, Osceola and Lake Counties .

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Below are some safety tips for drivers to remember when driving through school zones:

  • Drive distraction-free: Cell phones, loud music, eating breakfast and make-up touch-ups can all take your eyes off the road. According to AAA, taking your eyes off the road for just 2 seconds doubles your chances of getting involved in an accident.
  • Stop means STOP: In a shocking study, more than a third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones and neighborhoods. This is the time of year when kids are walking and riding their bikes to school. Pedestrians hit by vehicles traveling school-zone speeds (25 mph) are nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed than those hit by vehicles traveling just 10 mph faster.
  • ALWAYS stop for Buses. Drivers must always stop when behind a bus that has its lights flashing or its red lights on. When approaching a stopped school bus with flashing red lights from the opposite direction, drivers must stop if they are on a two-lane road. According to a recent survey, on a typical day more than 75,000 vehicles pass stopped school buses.

The most dangerous time in a school zone is the after-school period from 3-4 p.m. This is when more children and teens are killed by motorists than at any other time of day, according to AAA. Drivers should be particularly aware of teens that are often plugged into their Smartphones and other electronic devices and remain unaware of the traffic and other potential hazards. Over the last five years, there has been a 25 percent increase in pedestrian injuries for teens between the ages of 16 and 19, according to a 2012 report by Safe Kids Worldwide.

Help Make Our Central Florida School Zones Safe For Everyone!

Despite warnings, communication and the best of intentions, accidents can still happen as a result of someone else’s negligence. At the personal injury law firm of Michael T. Gibson, P.A., we want you and your loved ones to have a safe return to school this year. Our Orlando Auto Accident team is committed to helping children and families who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. Whether you have been involved in a car accident, bicycle or pedestrian accident, it is important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. Our experienced team of accident attorneys can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, future medical treatment, loss of wages, pain and suffering, etc. Feel free to fill out our quick contact form on our website to discuss your legal options in greater detail.