It's back to school season in Columbus, and that means students of all ages will be getting around on foot and by bike - from kids going to local elementary schools to college students at Ohio State. Unfortunately, those students are also some of the most vulnerable people on our roads.
That's why it's so important for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike to share the road. Last week, to prepare for back-to-school season, Ohio State hosted a Share the Road event aimed at eliminating distracted driving and educating pedestrians and cyclists. With the university partnering with the Ohio Department Transportation, the hope is that deadly accidents will be avoided this fall.
Here are a few ways that motorists can keep others safe:
- Slow down and be attentive in school zones, on the OSU campus and near other areas where students are likely to be walking, such as parks. Remember that young students in particular may dart out into traffic.
- Avoid distractions including cell phone use, talking to passengers and adjusting the radio in pedestrian-heavy areas. Pedestrians in crosswalks are very vulnerable to being hit by distracted drivers.
- Drive carefully in parking lots on campus and in the community. Parking lots are dangerous areas because they're full of both vehicles and pedestrians, and it's often unclear who needs to go where.
- Be aware of the conditions. Fall doesn't just mean students are back to school - it also means more foggy and rainy days. Pedestrians can be harder to see in inclement weather, and on a slick roadway, your stopping distance will be greater.
Here are a few ways for students to stay safe while on foot:
- Put the smartphone down and keep your eyes on the road. Texting or playing games while walking can lead to tragic collisions.
- Elementary-school children should be accompanied by an adult. Generally speaking, children under the age of 10 cannot judge the speed or distance of an approaching car.
- Wear bright, reflective clothing when walking in low-light conditions. School often begins in the twilight hours of the early morning, and many students are still in class or participating in activities at dusk. Those are some of the most dangerous times for bicycle and pedestrian accidents.
Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists all share a responsibility to share the road. But too often, pedestrians - especially young pedestrians - are left seriously hurt or even killed due to someone else's negligence. That's why it's so important to take steps to stay safe on the road during back-to-school season.
And if you or your child has been injured, you have the right to hold that negligent driver accountable. That's where an experienced attorney can make a meaningful difference.