Distracted Drivers Endanger South Carolina School Children

A South Carolina school bus carrying 27 children and two adults was nearly involved in a dangerous collision recently. The bus was forced to swerve off the road when it was passed by two cars in the oncoming traffic lane, forcing an oncoming vehicle to swerve. Fortunately, no injuries occurred as a result of the accident. Live 5 News reports that no tickets were issued because the cars that caused the bus to swerve did not stop their vehicles.

School bus collisions are a real risk for children, brought into focus in an NBC News video indicating that as many as 2 million more motorists passed school bus stop arms in 2013 as compared with the number who passed in 2011. When a child is injured on the way to or from school, a lawyer should be consulted for help.

A spokesperson from American Traffic Solutions told NBC that “there is no question that distracted driving plays a role” in the increase in motorists passing school buses.

Children are also at grave risk from distracted drivers in school zones. A report from Safe Kids Worldwide revealed that around one out of every six drivers going through a school zone is distracted. Drivers are more likely to be distracted if they go through school zones that have heavy traffic volume (defined as 10,000 or more vehicles per day).

Drivers in larger vehicles such as minivans, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles are also more likely to be distracted in school zones than motorists in standard passenger vehicles. The distracting behavior is more likely to occur when motorists are driving in the afternoon when kids get out of school, as opposed to on the morning commute to class.

While cell phones are a major cause of concern, only 98 out of 1,000 drivers in school zones are using their phone or other electronic device. There are many other potential distractions that are causing motorists in school zones to lose focus on the road, including:

  • Smoking, eating and drinking (44 out of 1,000 drivers)
  • Reaching or looking behind (19 out of 1,000 drivers)
  • Reading (3 out of 1,000 drivers)

Both men and women engaged in these behaviors, although women were slightly more likely to be distracted in comparison to men. Women were distracted at a rate of 187 out of 1,000 traveling through school zones while men were distracted at a rate of 154 out of 1,000.

Each year, around 25,000 children are hurt on their commute to school. If trends continue and motorists keep engaging in high-risk behaviors when approaching school buses or traveling through school areas, the number of victims is likely to increase.

When a child is injured or killed, consult an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer to provide assistance in pursuing compensation. Request a free consultation from Howell & Christmas.

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