The summer is drawing close to an end and a brand new school year is on the horizon.

A brand new opportunity awaits our children. They’ll be learning plenty of new things and making new friends. But if you aren’t careful, it can all be taken away in a flash.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 2014 saw 663 vehicle crashes occur within school zones across Texas, with 21 leading to serious injury – though fortunately – no fatalities.

Out of the 663 crashes, 107 occurred during August and September of the same year.

At the Law Office of Attorney Ignacio G. Martinez, we don’t want you or your family to become another statistic. With these helpful tips provided by our Brownsville personal injury lawyers, you can help make the back to school experience safe and pleasant for everyone involved.

According to @TxDOT 107 crashes occurred in a school zone in Aug & Sept 2014 #txdot #LawOfficeofMartinez Click To Tweet
  1. Keep Your Eyes on the Road

You may have grown a little overconfident on your drive to work. It’s very easy to become lazy about driving safety when you remember every turn, stop sign, and traffic light by heart.

But with school coming back in, those same roads are going to change once again. The roads will now be filled with children walking to school and waiting at their bus stop.

Taking your eyes off the road for just one second to view a text, change the radio station, or look for an item can be a mistake ending in tragedy.

Drivers, you should always have your eyes on the road, especially near school zones where children and teenagers alike may run out into the road unexpectedly.

  1. Put Your Cell Phone Away

School zones prohibit the use or handling of cell phones. Violators can be met with fines from $200 up to $500 in school zones where signs are posted.

It’s also important to talk your teenaged children about their responsibilities when driving. Teens make up the largest percentage of distracted drivers and will frequently talk on the phone while driving or text while behind the wheel.

Remind young drivers in your family to:

  • Keep their eyes on the road when driving at all times.
  • Avoid packing their cars with passengers. The more individuals in the car, the more likely they will become distracted.
  • Never look at or text on their cellphones while driving.
  • Never search for items or groom themselves while driving.
In #Texas cell phone use in a #school zone can cost violators $200 to $500 in fees #LawOfficeofMartinez Click To Tweet
  1. Mind the Speed Limit

Following the speed limit at all times is crucial but especially around school zones.

School zones are reduced to a minimum of 15 miles per hours to 35 mph at max, allowing the driver an ample amount of time to stop immediately if children have to cross the road unexpectedly.

And it may not be enough to adhere to school zone speed limits only in the morning. Children take recesses, lunches, and physical education throughout the day and participate in afterschool sports programs up until rush hour.

Speed limit signs will indicate if class is in session and if you need to slow down.

#Texas school zones, speed limits can be reduced between 15 to 35 mph. #txdot #LawOfficeofMartinez Click To Tweet
  1. Don’t Pass Other Vehicles in a School Zone

Patience is a virtue when dropping off your children and sometimes it can save lives.

School drop off points get congested rather quickly. As most are two-lane roads, if you grow impatient and try to pass a vehicle that is stopped, you may be placing others in harm’s way.

Your rush to get to where you are trying to go can mean a fatal injury for children who are being dropped off or who are crossing the street.

With a little patience and willingness to wait your turn to leave campus, you are ensuring the safety of all the children and pedestrians walking on school property.

#NationalSafeRoutes&School states more #children are hit by #cars near #schools than at any other location #LawOfficeofMartinez Click To Tweet
  1. Watch Out for Buses on the Road

Always pay attention to what buses are doing.

If you see it flash its lights and unfold its stop sign, then STOP. Do not pass a school bus that has its stop sign out.

The bus driver is asking you to come to a full stop because the bus has arrived at a particular drop-off spot, stopped at a railroad track – which it is required by law to do – or stayed behind to let oncoming traffic know that children will be crossing the road.

This applies to both directions of traffic.

However, if a median or physical barrier exists, only motorists traveling in the same direction as the school bus must stop.

These procedures were created in an effort to maximize effective road communication and minimize car accidents and fatalities. Failure to adhere to this law can result in a fine up to $1250.

Have you been involved in a car accident near a school? The Law Offices of Ignacio G. Martinez would like to represent you.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident near a school zone, contact the Law Offices of Ignacio G. Martinez today at (956) 542-2264.

Our team at the Martinez law firm in Brownsville will fight for you and your child. We help you take the best course of action in the aftermath of a car accident.