Johnson City Drivers Need to Pay Attention in School Zones

The laws designed to protect school children are strict in Tennessee. Drivers are required to stop a safe distance away from a bus with a stop arm extended and lights flashing. Drivers must also slow down when going through a school zone. Unfortunately, despite these rules designed to promote safety for children, around 25,000 kids every year get hurt on their way to or from school. A personal injury lawyer knows that some of these children are injured in collisions with drivers who disobey the safety rules. school-bus-910927-m

A disturbing new report shows just how many drivers are distracted both in school zones and when sharing the road with school buses. Driver distraction during kids’ commutes to school is likely to result in more lost lives.

School Zone Distractions Put Johnson City Kids at Risk

According to an NBC News report, around two million more motorists passed stop school buses in 2012 than did in 2011. NBC had one disturbing video of a large semi-truck passing a school bus that was stopped. The semi-truck driver narrowly missed hitting a child as the truck drove on the road shoulder. The driver turned himself in to authorities and admitted that he was distracted at the time of the incident. A distracted driver who passes a school bus could strike a child and cause serious injury or death.

Drivers are also distracted going through school zones. A report from Safe Kids USA found that one driver out of every six who passed through a school zone was distracted at the time of the incident. Drivers in larger vehicles, which present more of a danger to children, are more likely than other motorists to be distracted as they drive through. Drivers in school zones without flashing lights are also distracted at higher levels, and drivers are much more likely to be focused on something other than the road in school zones in high traffic areas where the daily volume of cars is 10,000 per day or higher.

While much of the focus is on cell phone use, cell phones are not the only thing causing drivers in school zones to be focused on something other than the road. For every 1,000 distracted drivers, 98 were on a phone or other electronic device. Other sources of distraction included:

  • Eating, drinking or smoking. Out of 1,000 drivers, 44 were distracted in school zones by this behavior.
  • Reaching or looking behind. Out of 1,000 drivers, 19 were distracted in school zones by this behavior.
  • Personal grooming. Out of 1,000 drivers, nine were distracted because they were doing personal grooming tasks.
  • Reading. Three out of 1,000 distracted drivers traveling through school zones were reading at the time.

Both men and women are almost equally likely to be distracted in school zones. There were 154 distracted men for every 1,000 male drivers and 187 distracted women for every 1,000 female drivers. These motorists are endangering children every time they drive through a school zone without paying proper attention to the road and to pedestrians or bicycle riders who may be trying to get to class.

Meade Law Group serves Johnson City, TN and the Tri-Cities. Contact us today at (423) 464-7779or visit