The back-to-school season is officially upon us as millions of children have begun a new academic year. This is a good time to remind all motorists to be alert to pedestrians and school buses, and exercise extreme caution when driving. Pedestrians can include school children, the elderly, and intoxicated or disabled persons. Motorists should be vigilant in observing pedestrian safety. Generally, pedestrians have the right of way but motorists need to be cautious and: Watch for pedestrians (and bicyclists) at all crosswalks and intersections. Do not block a crosswalk, particularly at city intersections where pedestrian volume is heavy. Always obey police officers or crossing guards directing traffic. Stop for any school bus that has its flashing lights on. Be on the lookout for children, who can be the most unpredictable pedestrians, especially in school zones and play areas. Remember to reduce your speed in school zones. Do not threaten or scare pedestrians by honking your horn or revving your engine, even if you have the legal right of way. Pedestrians should do their part to minimize conflicts with motor vehicles, and remember to: Walk on the sidewalk if one is available. If there is no sidewalk, walk as close to the edge of the road as possible and watch carefully for traffic. Obey traffic or pedestrian signals when crossing streets. Cross streets only where safe to do so, generally at intersections, and stay within a marked crosswalk. Do not step out from between parked cars where drivers may not see you. Look for oncoming traffic before entering a crosswalk, as drivers may be distracted and not see you. Make sure traffic is yielding to you before you begin to cross. Walk, do not run. Running increases your chances of falling. Walking also gives drivers more time to see you and stop. Continue looking out for cars as you cross, particularly when crossing multiple lanes or divided highways. At Stein, Mitchell & Muse LLP we have successfully represented numerous pedestrians and bicyclists injured by inattentive or distracted drivers who failed to use due care on the road. If you have questions about a possible claim, we invite you to contact our office for a free consultation.
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