Even with the uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic brings, schools are starting to open. Open schools means increased traffic, bicycles, and pedestrians on the road. For some drivers, it has been a while since they have encountered open and active school zones. The beginning of the school year can be a time of stress and excitement for everyone. In preparation for the new school year, we are providing back to school safety tips for drivers.
We hope you and your loved ones stay safe this school year. If you are injured in an accident that is not your fault, contact the experienced personal injury law team at Anthem Injury Lawyers. We do not charge for initial consultations and will travel to you at home or in the hospital if necessary. We handle personal injury cases all over Nevada, including Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Summerlin, Reno, and all of Clark County. There are no fees until you have received your compensation. Contact us today at (702) 857-6000 for a free consultation.
What Are School Zone Driving Rules?
School zones and any areas where children are present require additional caution. School zones may have a combination of signs, signals, markings, and school crossing guards. All of these are designed to keep drivers and pedestrians safe. Below are some rules for school zones.
Obey Crossing Guards
- Shall stop in obedience to the direction or traffic-control signal of a school crossing guard; and
- Shall not proceed until the highway is clear of all persons, including, without limitation, the school crossing guard.
Obey Speed Limits
In school zones, the speed limit is either 15 or 25 miles per hour. These speed limits are in effect on school days from half an hour before school begins to half an hour after school ends.
Some areas use flashing yellow lights to indicate when the speed limit is in effect. These lights may be turned off during hours students are actually in classes. If so, the speed limit then reverts to that posted for non-school hours.
Do Drivers Have to Stop for School Buses?
Per NRS 484B.353, all drivers are required to stop for school buses when:
- Students are boarding and departing.
- The bus is displaying its flashing red lights.
On divided highways with a median or other physical barrier, traffic moving in the opposite direction does not have to stop.
Pay special attention around railroad crossings. When you see the round railway crossing sign:
- Slow down.
- Be ready to stop.
- Remember, even if there is no stop signal and no train is coming, passenger buses must stop.
Drivers are urged to pay extra attention any time they see a school bus. Did you know, the greatest risk to a child is approaching or leaving a school bus? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that from 2008 to 2017:
- There were 264 school-age children killed in school-transportation-related crashes.
- Most of those students were not on the bus. 203 were either walking, waiting for the bus, biking, or in another vehicle.
How to Avoid Bus Accidents
Anthem Injury Lawyers represents clients in a range of accident cases, including bus accidents. Most crashes between buses and smaller cars are caused by the car drivers. The Nevada Driver Handbook (Handbook) has a section dedicated to commercial vehicle and bus safety. The Handbook reminds drivers to avoid the “No-Zone” with the below information.
What is a No-Zone?
According to the Handbook, the “No-Zone” is the area around buses where cars “disappear” into blind spots. If bus drivers cannot see you, the possibility of a collision is greatly increased. The right-side blind spot is doubly dangerous because buses make wide right turns.
Do not “hang out” on either side of buses. Buses have big No-Zones (blind spots) on both sides. They are much larger than your car’s blind spots. If you cannot see the driver’s face in the side view mirror, he or she cannot see you. If that driver needs to swerve or change lanes for any reason, the chances of a collision are greatly increased.
Pass safely! Large vehicles need nearly twice the time and distance to stop as cars. When passing, look for the whole front of the bus in your rearview mirror before pulling into the bus’s lane.
Avoid tailgating! If the bus driver brakes or stops suddenly, you have no place to go and could end up running into them. Never pass behind a bus that is backing up.
Wide Right Turns
Avoid the “squeeze play”! Bus drivers sometimes need to swing wide to the left in order to safely make a right turn. Or swing wide to the right to safely make a left turn. They cannot see cars directly behind or beside them. Do not “squeeze” between a bus and the curb.
If you have been the victim in a bus accident, you should seek legal advice from an experienced bus accident lawyer. The experienced team at Anthem Injury Lawyers can help you protect your rights and help you get the personal injury settlement that you deserve.
Back to School Safety Tips for Drivers
Drivers have a responsibility to stay safe on the road. When rushing to work or dealing with the stresses of life it is easy to forget about common safety practices. As schools resume, use the following back to school safety tips for drivers.
Watch for Children
Anthem Injury Lawyers shares these tips provided by Tt he Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, to help parents and kids get ready for the busy back to school season. The Departmentreminds drivers that children are not small adults. Children can understand basic safety rules but they do not have the judgment to cope with traffic until at least age 10.
- Children assume that if they see the driver, the driver sees them.
- They cannot judge speed and think cars can stop instantly.
- Children are shorter than adults and cannot see over cars, bushes, and other objects.
- They often act before thinking. Children may not do what parents or drivers expect.
Proceed with Caution
Allow extra driving time in the morning and afternoons when schools are in session. Never rush around school zones, busses, or in neighborhoods.
Before backing up, check for children on the sidewalk, in the driveway, and around your vehicle. Take an extra look and drive slowly when leaving driveways and parking spots.
Stay Alert for New and Inexperienced Drivers
The new school year often brings many new and inexperienced drivers to the road. Remember that not all cars on the road will act as expected. While all drivers must follow the rules of the road, young drivers may act less experienced on the roads.
Follow Driving Laws
Following basic traffic laws can keep everyone safe. Remember to do the following:
- Avoid speeding. Especially in school zones and neighborhoods.
- Never run a red light and always come to a complete stop.
- Avoid distracted driving. Put down your cell phone.
- Drive sober. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
EXPERIENCED LAS VEGAS PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
We hope you stay safe as schools resume. If you are injured in an accident that is not your fault, contact the experienced team at Anthem Injury Lawyers. Our Las Vegas legal team understands that being an accident victim can be one of the most difficult things you will ever face. As you deal with injuries and wonder how to navigate the system, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced lawyer. Contact Anthem Injury Lawyers today at (702) 857-6000 for a free consultation.