The Dangers of Car Accidents in School Zones
School zones in Texas are a protected stretch of roadway around a campus where speed limits are reduced during school hours and cell phone use is prohibited. Both regulations are designed to improve driver focus around the students and pedestrians that use the roadways and sidewalks. Unfortunately, car accidents in school zones still happen and can result in severe injury to students, teachers and parents.
Establishing School Zone Speed Limits
The current policy for setting school speed limits in Texas is outlined in two documents: Procedures for Establishing Speed Limits and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. These two documents make specific recommendations for establishing school zone speed limits. These include:
- Speed zones should be confined the hours when children are going to and from school.
- Speed limits should be based on pedestrian activity with consideration to traffic volume.
- The use of a school speed zone should be based on an engineering study.
The establishment of a school zone speed limit is a well thought out and professionally addressed issue. Research teams use the above information to make recommendations on the speed limit reductions, time frames of the reduction, and any special guidelines that can improve pedestrian and driver safety.
Hands-Free School Zones in Texas
Texas currently has no statewide ban on cell phone use while driving. Nearly 40 cities have adopted a hands-free ordinance, and many of these are large metro areas like Austin and San Antonio. While the hands-free laws vary from city to city, there is one constant throughout the state – no cell phone use in school zones. This law was written to help protect the pedestrians around a school campus.
What happens when drivers ignore the hands-free and speed limit laws in school zones and cause an accident?
Car Accidents In School Zones
The speed reduction and hands-free rules have not stopped car accidents in school zones. High traffic volume and high pedestrian volume around the start time, lunch, and final school bell create a dangerous mix of drivers and pedestrians in a hurry. If a car in a school zone injures you or your child, the personal injury attorneys at the McCraw Law Group will work with our accident specialists to recreate the scene, looking for the following evidence
- Vehicle speed and acceleration, or braking attempts
- Witness information, photos or video
- Physical evidence like tire marks
- Road surface inspection and road conditions
- Data from vehicle event recorders
- Cell phone records
Traffic collision reconstruction can provide a clear picture of what happened in the few seconds before a collision. With this information, the car accident attorneys at the McCraw Law Group can help you decided how to proceed. Negligent drivers that ignore speed limits and cell phone laws in school zones should be held accountable and required to pay damages for medical bills, lost wages and mental anguish. Contact our office for a free consultation and speak with one of our experienced accident attorneys.