Chicago School Zone Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Illinois implements school zones to alert drivers of the presence of young pedestrians coming and going to school. The zone promotes a safer environment for them to travel through. Some motorists do not respect school zone laws, while others are distracted behind the wheel. Over 25,000 children suffer injuries each year in school zone auto accidents, and these incidents cost the lives of 100 innocent child pedestrians annually. We owe it to our children to teach them how to travel safely when walking near or crossing roads and to slow down and pay attention when cars are in school zones.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represent children and adults hit by vehicles in Chicago school zones. We invite you to discuss your school zone pedestrian accident case with a lawyer who has experience winning these cases. The consultation is free, and there is a fee charged only upon a successful outcome for you. While our firm is headquartered in Chicago, our personal injury lawyers represent clients across Illinois and nationwide who were involved in car accidents in designated ‘school zones’.
Distracted Drivers are a Major Factor in School Zone AccidentsNearly seven in ten surveyed motorists admitted to driving while distracted by a phone call, text message, or an electronic device. Distracted drivers are three times as likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident. Studies have likened driving while speaking on a cell phone or sending a text message to a drunk driving car accident. Drivers who consumed alcohol tested better on a road course than those driving while using a cell phone. How distracted driving can contribute to an accident include the following:
- Distractions make it more challenging to be aware of the surroundings. An at-fault driver might not be aware that they are in a restricted zone before involvement in an emergency situation with a child pedestrian.
- Distracted drivers may drive at unsafe speeds or be unaware of speed limits.
- The reaction time of a distracted time runs parallel to that of an intoxicated driver or one who is operating a vehicle while fatigued.
- Texting or dialing a phone forces the driver to take his or her eyes off the road. In the time that it takes to check a text message, type a response, or dial a phone number, a child could pass in front of a vehicle.
Educating Children on Dangers Will Reduce School Zone Accident RateMost young pedestrians are ignorant of or do not understand traffic laws in rural and urban areas. Educating children on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tools on pedestrian fatalities has proven to be effective at saving lives. Teaching pedestrians the value of obeying rules at stop signs, traffic signals, school buses, and crosswalks can stop fatal accidents caused by the school bus driver or car driver negligence. When speaking with your child about safe travel, it is essential to cover these critical areas of focus.
- Where and how to cross the street safely – Most children do follow traffic control devices or the instructions of crossing guards. They should be encouraged to perform a scan of their surroundings before crossing the street. As a bus driver would, children should look to the left, back to the right, and to the left one additional time before crossing. All crossings should be made at a crosswalk.
- Many motorists are distracted or in a hurry – This lack of attention means that children should be instructed never to assume that motorists are aware of their presence or that the car will stop. It is always best to look the driver directly in the eyes and to wait until a vehicle comes to a stop before walking in front of it. This action can help to avoid a pedestrian accident with a serious injury.
- Other children may not be educated on pedestrian safety – Children should not merely be aware of themselves but of others around them. They should intervene if another child is about to be placed in harm’s way. Children should not endanger themselves to do so, but when possible, they should prevent others from walking in front of moving vehicles and crossing where they shouldn’t.
A Driver's ResponsibilityPedestrians who are aware can avoid the dangers that they may encounter on the way to and from school each day. Additionally, it is vital to review your driving habits to determine whether you are contributing to the problem or a part of the solution. Use these final tips as a guideline:
- Always assume that children are around not to be surprised if a child runs into the street from behind a building or object that obstructed your view.
- Slow down. Driving slowly will improve your reaction time and reduce the severity of potential injuries should you be involved in an accident.
- Stay alert when around school buses. Remember the basic rules that the school bus has the right of way.
- Turn off your electronic devices and cell phone while you drive. The phone calls and text messages can wait, mainly if the delay in responding saves a life.
Illinois Law Regarding Drivers in School Zones
“On a school day when children are present and so close thereto that a potential hazard exists because of the close proximity of the motorized traffic and when the traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.” 625 ILCS 5/11-1002.5)
Seeking Financial CompensationWas a loved one injured in a crossing zone or school bus accident that required medical attention in the United States? Was the victim transported to an emergency room for serious injuries? Did their severe injuries caused by a negligent driver result in a wrongful death? Are you facing substantial medical expenses from the motor vehicle accident? If so, the victim or surviving family member might be entitled to receive financial compensation paid by an insurance company or trial award.
Were You or Your Child Injured in a Pedestrian Accident in a School Zone?
Your personal injury lawyer will provide immediate legal advice on how to move your case forward. Our law firm works on contingency. This agreement ensures that you pay for our personal injury services only after we have secured compensation on your behalf. We will obtain monetary compensation through a trial or a negotiated settlement with the defendant’s insurance carrier. We will seek recovery of your medical bills, lost time away from work, pain, and suffering.
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