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What should motorists do when driving near school children?

It is back to school time, and the streets and sidewalks will now see an uptick in foot traffic. Specifically, there will be many more little pedestrians who motorists must keep a look out for in the mornings and afternoons. Motor vehicle traffic can be especially dangerous for younger pedestrians. Children often lack the judgment of adults and may unexpectedly dart out into the street in front of oncoming cars. And of course, their diminutive size can make them harder to spot when around the road.

So what can drivers do to better ensure the safety of young pedestrians? Well, the National Safety Council offers these tips to follow when driving near children:

  • Be especially aware of children when driving in school zones, in residential areas and near playgrounds.
  • If you see a vehicle that has halted for pedestrians, do not pass it.
  • Slow to a stop when you encounter a crossing guard or a school safety patrol officer displaying a stop sign.
  • Avoid blocking the intersection if you are trying to make a turn or are halted at a red light. You don't want to force pedestrians to walk around your vehicle and into the path of other traffic.
  • When driving through school zones, pay attention to lights and blinkers. Give the right of way to all pedestrians in crosswalks and intersections.

All motorists have a responsibility to take special care when driving in proximity to children. If a child is struck by a motor vehicle, he or she could suffer very serious, long-term injuries. Should such an accident be caused by a motorist's negligent driving, that motorist could possibly be held liable.

If your child is harmed by a driver that was speeding, distracted, impaired or in any other way negligent, you may wish to contact a personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney could help you determine the level of compensation you will need to care for your child. The attorney could then work toward getting you that amount.

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