When a parent sends a child to school in the morning, safety is often a top concern. No one expects a child to be the victim in a serious car accident, especially within the immediate vicinity of the school where speed limits are lower.
One California parent experienced what may be a mother's worst fear-witnessing her daughters getting hit by a vehicle while trying to cross the street. The children's mother drove them to school, dropping them off on the opposite side of the road. As the sisters attempted to cross, they were struck by a minivan. The mother, who was still pulled over on the side of the road, rushed to them. The driver of the minivan did stop and cooperated with authorities. The minivan was driving under the speed limit. Both accident victims were treated at the hospital and released the same day.
Drivers are required to exercise reasonable care when driving. However, where children are present or where the driver knows that children are likely to be present, this duty of care increases. Because children are smaller, and thus harder to see from a vehicle, and because they are more likely to run out into the street while playing, drivers must use increased vigilance.
Locals noted that the street that the accident occurred on is heavily traveled not only by parents and schoolchildren but also by trucks going to a nearby quarry. They also noted that there are no sidewalks. The nearest crosswalk to the site of the accident is 25 yards away. While a lack of sidewalks and crosswalks may make it more dangerous for schoolchildren to cross the street, drivers must pay careful attention around schools so as to avoid getting involved in a car accident. Parents should also take care to ensure that their children use any available crosswalks and sidewalks in order to reduce the risk of an accident.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, "Clayton: Two girls hit by car outside Mt. Diablo Elementary," Erin Ivie, Oct. 30, 2012
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