Back-to-School Accidents to Avoid
Even though it may feel like summer is coming to an end, the actual end date isn’t until the end of September, so there is still plenty of summer weather to be enjoyed. However, many kids are going back-to-school and there are precautions that should be taken to avoid injuries during this exciting time of year. Chances are at least one member of your family will have some sort of summer injury. Swimming, sunning, travel and even yard care are popular summer activities that can cause a number of easily avoidable mishaps that can keep you away from the fun and stop you from working. As school starts, early morning traffic increases, school area speed zones are back in effect, and pedestrian crossings are full. As a driver, you are exposed to a number of difficult traffic situations. This summer, limit your accident downtime by taking some simple precautions.
School Zone Incidents
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, distraction and other forms of unsafe street crossing behavior are growing risks for travelling within school zones. Statistics show that 25,000 children are injured annually in school zone accidents. Additionally, there has been a 13% increase in the pedestrian death rate for 12-19-year olds since 2013.
Distracted walking accounts for many of these accidents, with children texting, listening to headphones or otherwise looking at electronic devices while in these crossings. Distracted walking is observed it in 1 in 4 high school students and 1 in 6 middle school students. Both students and parents should put away their electronic devices while walking anywhere. Children should always keep their phones in their backpacks while crossing the street and parents should be sure to only drop their kids off in designated drop-off zones.
Speeding also contributes to these accidents. While only 4 in 10 school zones have speed limits of 20mph or less, it’s the driver’s responsibility to slow down while school is in session, especially if children are present. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, “When a car is going 35 mph and hits a pedestrian, the risk of death is 30% and of significant injury 64%. However, keep the speed limit at 15 mph and the risk is reduced to 5% for death and 10% for severe injury.”
School Bus Accidents
School bus accidents sent an estimated 17,000 children to hospital emergency rooms each year, but only around 40% of those injuries are caused by traffic accidents. Most school bus accidents happen when children are standing near a bus, getting on and off a bus, etc. Most of the injuries that are incurred are minor. Very few children die each year as a result of a school bus traffic accident. School districts usually provide adult monitors when buses are loading and unloading, but parents can help by stressing bus safety to their children.
School buses are actually quite safe due to their design and laws enacted to protect their passengers. Children are 70 times more likely to arrive at school safely when they take the bus as opposed to riding in a car.
Summer is a very popular time for cars to be on the road. Whether it’s a summer road trip or commuting to a summer job, more people tend to be on the road during the summer, which means your chance of being involved in an accident is higher. In fact, most car accidents happen between June and November for a variety of reasons:
- Foreign Drivers– People from out of town driving in a new city may be looking at a map or distracted with a GPS.
- Inexperienced Drivers– High school and college drivers that haven’t gone back to school yet will be on the road more often than usual. Lack of driving experience can lead to more accidents. This means you have to drive defensively at all times.
- Holiday Travel- If you travel for holidays or to visit family, consider leaving a day or two early in order to avoid peak travel times. Have your car serviced before hitting the road so you can avoid breakdowns
Summertime sports like baseball and softball can lead to a number of injuries, including sprains, strains, and fractures. You are more prone to these problems if you don’t remain active all year long. Before exerting yourself on the golf course or ball field, make certain you stretch appropriately and wear the proper protection. Slowly increasing your activity level will help you prevent many muscle and tendon related injuries.
Everyone looks forward to the sunshine after a long cold Chicago winter. However, it’s important to know your limits when it comes to the sun, and heat in general. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are very dangerous and can quickly incapacitate you.
If the temperature and humidity levels are high, it’s possible to experience heat exhaustion if you are physically active. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: faintness, dizziness, rapid pulse, nausea, and headache. If you begin to feel this way, the best thing to do is hydrate and rest in a cool place immediately, as well as seek medical advice if the symptoms linger for an hour or more.
On the other hand, heat stroke is more dangerous and can become life threatening. This happens when your core body temperature hits 104 F or higher. Heat stroke can cause brain damage or even death. It is curcial to get immediate medical attention if you suspect heat stroke. This is a common condition for those working outdoors such as construction workers or landscapers.
One way to prevent these heat-related issues is by staying indoors during high temperature times of the day. Additionally, you can wear loose light-colored clothing, and stay well-hydrated.
Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.
Summertime means more fun, but it also means more accidents. Stay safe on the road, in school zones, and in the heat by following some basic safety measures. Summertime accidents can range from a sports injury to a deadly car accident. No matter the severity, it is always important to contact an experienced lawyer to help you recover any losses or damages. take advantage of their free consultation and remind you that they never charge a fee until they win a settlement for you. You can contact them today at by calling 312-334-6875 for the WG Law Group Michigan Avenue location and 815-730-7535 for their Shorewood office.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.