With children around the country back in school, parents may feel a sense of relief now that there is more wiggle room in their daily schedules. However, they may also be acutely aware of how school attendance leads to certain risks.
Children in high-density classrooms often bring home viruses and bacterial infections in the first weeks of school when their immune systems are not yet fully adjusted to the pressure of such close proximity with other people. Children young enough to go out on playgrounds during recess could get hurt on equipment, while middle schoolers and high schoolers could suffer injuries at sports practices.
As if that weren’t bad enough, there are also school zone traffic injuries to consider. How much concern should Washington parents have about school zone traffic incidents?
Over 100 children die each year in school zone collisions
The number of children crossing roads as pedestrians near schools is a major risk factor for deadly collisions. Teenage drivers around high schools are also a concern.
A recent review of collisions at school zones and involving school transportation found that more than 1,000 children died in fatal collisions between 2011 and 2020. That means an average of 113 preventable fatalities every year. Researchers have also found that non-fatal injuries occur at a staggering rate near schools, as many as 40 students every single day may suffer injuries when they get struck by a vehicle. That adds up to more than 15,000 injuries annually.
What protects your family after a school zone crash?
There are several different kinds of protection that may be available to your family after a child gets hurt in a traffic collision at a school zone. If the incident occurs on school property, there may be a premises liability policy that applies.
Frequently, you will be able to bring a claim against the driver who causes the crash. There should be bodily injury liability coverage available through their motor vehicle insurance policy. You may also be able to take them to civil court if their insurance isn’t adequate given the scope of the injuries your child suffered.
Recognizing that school transportation can be a major source of injury risk for your children can help you protect them and advocate on their behalf after a serious injury because of a school-related car crash.