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Champaign County Receives Low Rating in School Zone Safety Study

Zendrive, a company that sells analytics to insurance or fleet companies, started a national campaign called “#FundMyStreets”. The campaign is designed to rank different school zones by their level of safety, with a goal to ultimately promoting safe driving. By using data collected from smartphones, the company was able to analyze drivers on roads within one-quarter of a mile of schools. The company analyzed when drivers were speeding, rapidly accelerating, braking suddenly, or using their cell phones, marking all these behaviors as “unsafe driving events”. They analyzed 125,703 schools in 3,094 different counties across the country, one of those counties being Champaign County. The company used the information to determine which school zones were safest and which were the most unsafe. As a whole, Champaign County received a letter grade that came close to failing, scoring a ‘D’. The whole state of Illinois was ranked the second most dangerous state in the country, receiving an ‘F’. In total, 83 school zones were analyzed in Champaign, and the three listed as the most dangerous were Wiley, Champaign’s Bottenfield Elementary, and Champaign’s South Side Elementary. The safest school zones were Ludlow Grade School, Mahomet-Seymour High and Mahomet-Seymour Junior High.

Safe driving in school zones is imperative in order to keep children and other drivers on the road safe. School zones present immense dangers, as the roads are congested with unpredictable children who may run into the street to hop into cars and buses. The increased amount of vehicles on the road and pedestrian foot traffic on the sidewalk escalates the chance of an accident occurring in school zones. Drivers must use extreme caution while driving in these areas. The following driving tips will help you stay safe and avoid being involved in a school zone accident.

Slow down: Most school zones are swamped with signs informing drivers to reduce their speed significantly. With that said, many drivers still fail to reduce their speed in these zones. By slowing down in these zones, it will give you more time to react if a student unexpectedly runs into the street. Most school zone speed limits are 20 to 25 MPH, and most states have large fines for speeding in these zones.

Do not pass a bus from behind: The National Safety Council stated that children involved in fatal bus-related accidents are most often hit by a driver illegally passing a stopped bus. This act is illegal in all 50 states due to the danger that it imposes.

Rid yourself of all distractions: It is no secret how dangerous it is to drive distracted, however, this is especially true in school zones. As stated previously, children are unpredictable, and even a moment’s delay in reaction time can cause a deadly collision. Fines related to distracted driving increase significantly in school zones.

Listen to the crossing guard: Crossing guards are placed at intersections in order to keep the students that are crossing them safe. However, they can only do their job if drivers respect the guard and stop when they’re directing traffic. When you see a crossing guard, you can assume pedestrians are crossing.

Stay out of crosswalks: When stopping at a stop sign or light, make sure you stop behind the crosswalk lines. When drivers cross over into the crosswalk, it causes pedestrians to go around the lines, putting them in the path of moving traffic.

It is imperative that we take initiative of our responsibilities as drivers and make safe decisions while driving in school zones. Slow down and pay attention to ensure that students can travel to and from school safely. Pedestrian accidents are a very real threat to anyone. One moment of carelessness by a driver can result in a lifetime of pain or discomfort for a victim, and the consequences are often irreversible. In these situations, it is important that the responsible party be brought to justice, and the experienced pedestrian accident attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. are ready to help you fight for justice.

If you or a loved one has been hit by a reckless driver, contact us at (217) 328-2828 to discuss your situation and find out more about your rights as a victim.