HABERKORN & Associates

Bay Area school zones are graded an "F" for pedestrian safety

Being a parent can be mentally exhausting, including planning meals, organizing the house and coordinating rides for your children. You hope that accidents are the last thing you need to worry about when dropping-off and picking-up your kids from school. Unfortunately, school zones may not be as safe as you might hope.

Bay Area counties are given the most dangerous ranking possible for school zone safety. In a nationwide study, Zendrive gave each county a ranking from “A” to “F” for safety. San Mateo County ranked as an “F,” with 49 out of 55 schools in the county located within 500 feet of roads with heavy traffic, like highways.

While some areas in the state appear to be safer in school zones, nearby counties did not fare any better. Contra Costa County, Alameda County, San Francisco County, Santa Clara County and San Benito County all received a score of “F.” The reason that Zendrive gives this dangerous ranking is because the school zones are so close to busy roads. Pedestrians are six times more likely to get hit by a vehicle near heavily trafficked roads.

Unsafe driver behavior in school zones

Unsafe driver behavior is often the cause of pedestrian accidents. Unsafe driving behavior includes fast acceleration, hard braking and driving while using a phone. It is frightening to consider drivers speeding through school zones while texting, but it happens often. In fact, one in three drivers show unsafe behavior while picking-up or dropping-off their kids in school zones.

Distracted driving is a growing issue, as any driver might already know. People are easily drawn to using in-vehicle technology and smartphones to call or text while driving. What may only count as a few seconds of distraction can lead to serious accidents near a school.

What parents should know

People rushing to get home after work make afternoon a risky time for school children. The afternoon is 40 percent more dangerous around school roads than morning times. Peak rush hour times of 4 and 5 PM show to be the most dangerous time to be in school zones.

Do you often see drivers speeding or distracted while driving through your child’s school zone? If your child’s school zone is dangerous, then consider steps that can be taken to improve safety. Consider the following tips:

  • Tell the school board the school zone area is unsafe
  • Request more crossing guards
  • Ask if pick-up/drop-off rules can be better enforced
  • Find a backup to pick-up your child during a dangerous time of day if you are unable

Unfortunately, even while taking extra measures for safety, accidents can still occur. If your loved one gets injured in an accident then contact an attorney to learn about legal avenues for relief.

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