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Be on the lookout for Florida children walking to school

Summer vacation is at an end for many Florida children and this means it's back-to-school time. While some children ride the school bus to get to school or are driven by their parents, many others walk or bike to school. This means there will be more children present on Florida roadways, especially in school zones.

Unfortunately, this also means that more children may become the victims of pedestrian accidents. In fact, a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that the state of Florida was number two nationwide in fatal child pedestrian accidents for the year 2014. In that year, 34 children in the state were killed in pedestrian accidents.

Therefore, drivers are urged to take care in school zones and in neighborhoods where children may be walking to school. Children can be unpredictable, and may dart out into traffic without first confirming it is safe. Drivers should remain alert, abide by the speed limit particularly in school zones, and make sure they make a complete stop at intersections with traffic signals or stop signs. Moreover, drivers should avoid using their cell phones while on the road. It only takes two seconds of having your attention off the road for the chance of an accident to increase twofold. These tips are meant not just for seasoned motorists but for teen drivers as well who may not have as much experience behind the wheel.

A new school year means a fresh start for students. Unfortunately, walking to school has its risks. Inattentive drivers could cause car accidents that injure or even kill innocent children. When this happens, parents should understand their rights, including the possibility of pursuing legal action in order to seek compensation and hold the negligent motorist responsible.

Source: TCpalm, "Thumb down: Florida ranks second in child pedestrian deaths," Aug. 11, 2016

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