With schools back in session, the risk of pedestrian accidents soars

Fall is a season of transitions. As thousands of students across Ohio return to school, campuses will be flooded with cars and pedestrians. Crowded school campuses and increased traffic can create a dangerous recipe for accidents - especially collisions between drivers and pedestrians. Children and teens are at the greatest risk of being struck by cars.

Avoiding accidents as a driver

Whether you're a student driving to school or a parent picking up a child, as a driver, you play a role in keeping pedestrians safe. Follow these safe driving habits to avoid hitting anyone:

  • Always pay attention to what's going on around you. Don't use a cellphone or text while driving. If you become distracted, pull over.
  • Drive slowly and never exceed the speed limit. Pay special attention to reduced speed limits in school zones.
  • Watch out for pedestrians near intersections, building entrances and other areas with heavy foot traffic.
  • Stop well in advance for pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Always yield to pedestrians, even if they're jaywalking. Don't try to cut them off.
  • Keep an eye out for school buses. Stop and wait whenever the lights are flashing and the stop arm is out.

Staying safe as a pedestrian

It's easy to forget about the risk cars pose to your safety. We often assume drivers are paying attention when they're not. Ultimately, you have to take responsibility for your own safety - even when you have the right of way in a crosswalk or intersection.

Reduce your risk of getting hit by following these tips:

  • Cross busy streets only at intersections or crosswalks.
  • Stay attentive to your surroundings. Put your cellphone away while you're walking.
  • Continue watching for cars while you're crossing the street.
  • Be aware of blind spots where cars can't see you - or you can't see them.
  • Take extra precautions when walking at night. Always assume cars can't see you.

By practicing safe habits, drivers and pedestrians alike can prevent life-changing accidents.

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