Whether your child attends school in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, or another part of South Florida, do you need to be concerned about pedestrian safety and car accident risks within a school zone? According to a recent article in the Miami Herald, school zones are supposed to be safe areas for young students, but vehicle crash data suggests that school zones are much more dangerous than most parents would like to believe. What do you need to know about school zone personal injury risks? And what tips should drivers take when driving in or around school zones?
Data Shows Danger of Crashes in Florida School Zones
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles maintains data on car accidents in cities throughout the state, including information about collisions that occur in school zones. A new study of this data conducted by the company “1Point21Interactive” determined that the most dangerous school zones in the state are in downtown Miami where nearly 2,300 crashes occurred within 500 feet of a school building last year, but crashes have occurred in school zones all along Florida’s east coast.
For instance, an interactive map provided by the firm conducting the study showed some of the following crash data from schools in Boca Raton and West Palm Beach:
- 532 collisions within 2/3 of a mile of Boca Raton Elementary School;
- 422 crashes within 2/3 of a mile of Somerset Academy Boca Middle School in Boca Raton;
- 347 collisions within 2/3 of a mile of Boca Raton Charter School;
- 232 collisions within 2/3 of a mile of J.C. Mitchell Elementary School in Boca Raton;
- 574 crashes within 2/3 of a mile of Boca Raton Community Middle School;
- 686 crashes within 2/3 of a mile of Boca Raton Community High School;
- 1004 crashes within 2/3 of a mile of Alexander W Dreyfoos Junior School of the Arts in West Palm Beach;
- 925 collisions within 2/3 of a mile of Renaissance Charter School at West Palm Beach;
- 668 crashes within 2/3 of a mile of North Area Elementary Transition School in West Palm Beach; and
- 572 collisions within 2/3 of a mile of U.B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary in West Palm Beach.
As you can see, hundreds of crashes occur within close proximity of school zones every year, and these crashes are not limited to high schools where teen drivers also play a role in the collision rate. To be sure, a majority of the schools listed above are elementary and middle schools, where younger students are at a particularly high risk of sustaining serious and life-threatening injuries in a traffic collision.
Driving Safety in School Zones
What can drivers do to help prevent crashes in school zones? According to a set of safety tips from DrivingTests.org, motorists should do the following:
- Pay attention to school zones and recognize these areas as places where you need to slow down and be on high alert for kids on foot;
- Reduce your speed every time you enter a school zone;
- Anticipate increased traffic in and around school zones, and drive accordingly;
- Recognize that there will be a high concentration of pedestrians in school zones to whom you need to yield, and many of them will be young children;
- Watch for school buses and children crossing the street in front of and behind any buses; and
- Always obey crossing guards and law enforcement officers within school zones.
Contact a Boca Raton Car Accident Lawyer
Was your child injured in a crash in a school zone? A Boca Raton car accident lawyer can help. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC today.