Road safety is a frequent concern in Maryland. Auto accidents can impact anyone and happen for a variety of reasons. However, there are some members of society who are more vulnerable than others. At the top of the list is children.
While they are at risk year-round, they are especially in danger in the morning and afternoon when they are heading to and from school. Drivers are constantly reminded of this and warned to be cautious and obey the law. Still, accidents are unfortunately likely to happen. It is wise to know how to keep children safe, but is also crucial to be cognizant of the alternatives after a collision has occurred.
In-person school starts again and with it, familiar road safety challenges arise
The recent health issues have had a dramatic impact on how people function in their daily lives. While these are still worrisome, there is an attempt to return to some semblance of normalcy. With that, Maryland schools are restarting in-person learning, albeit with health and safety precautions.
Kids heading to school are in jeopardy for a possible auto accident. State agencies and safety advocates are reminding drivers of the need to be careful. This is particularly true with school buses and other forms of student transportation.
Statistically, at least 600,000 students across the state use school buses. Drivers are being told to watch for them and follow the rules for stopping when these buses have their rear lights flashing. Drivers can be fined $570 and have three points on their driver’s license if they ignore these laws. The concerns are justified based on research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The NHTSA says that between 2009 and 2018, 249 children lost their lives in an accident that happened as they were being taken to school. Fifty-two were using school transportation; 92 were in other vehicles; 100 pedestrians were killed; and four bicyclists died.
The time at which most of these accidents occurred coincided with children going to school in the morning between 6 and 8 a.m. and leaving school between 3 and 4 p.m. In total, more than 1,200 people died in those years in a school transportation accident with 208 pedestrians losing their lives.
Children are inherently vulnerable and after an accident, having advice is vital
Regardless of Maryland Department of Transportation, law enforcement and legislators’ entreaties for drivers to focus on safety and think about children on the road and no matter how many statistics the NHTSA quotes as to how at risk kids are as they are going back and forth to school, there will still be drivers who place their own interests above others and cause auto accidents. That includes reckless behaviors such as ignoring the speed limits in school zones, failing to stop when a bus has its flashers on, texting and driving, driving under the influence, getting behind the wheel while drowsy and more.
After any auto accident, there might be major injuries with medical costs and long-term challenges. There can even be fatalities. To deal with the aftermath of a crash, having advice with how to move forward is imperative. Professionals experienced in these incidents can assess the situation, gather evidence and help with weighing all the options and proceeding.