School zones in California are becoming increasingly dangerous for students as streets in these zones are infested by distracted drivers who use their phones while driving. According to a new study by Zendrive, which analyzed more than four million drivers in about 2,000 counties across the country, California topped the list of the most dangerous states for students put at risk by distracted driving. San Francisco County ranked third while Orange County ranked sixth and Los Angeles County was seventh.
In general, the company found the most dangerous driving around school zones was between 4 and 5 p.m., a time at which most students are still being picked up or leaving from school or extracurricular activities. The safest county in the country was La Salle County, Texas, a tiny county in the state not far from the Mexico border. Zendrive’s data is collected from sensors in more than 3.8 million mobile devices. The company focused on driving around 75,000 schools in more than 2,000 counties and was taken throughout the month of April of this year.
Distracted Driving Injuries and Deaths
In 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries particularly in busy areas such as school zones where children are walking or biking. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.
Tips for Drivers in School Zones
Here are a few tips if you are driving in a school zone:
- Never text or talk on the phone while you are driving. This could take your hands off the wheel, eyes off the road or attention away from driving putting everyone on the roadway at great risk.
- Always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and bicyclists. Look out, especially for young pedestrians and bicyclists in school zones who may still be getting used to being out there. Yield to school patrol officers and crossing guards.
- Watch your speed. Observe the speed limit and drive at a speed that is safe given the traffic, roadway, and weather conditions.
- Always stop for school buses that are stopped. Children may be getting off the bus or crossing the street.
If your child has been injured by a distracted or negligent driver in a school zone accident, please contact an experienced car accident lawyer who can help you better understand your legal rights and options