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Back to school time increases potential for pedestrian accidents

Many schools, colleges and universities in Missouri have recently welcomed back thousands of students of all ages. This brings about increased levels of vehicular and pedestrian traffic and, unfortunately, also higher numbers of pedestrian accidents. Authorities are urging vehicle operators to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians, especially when they enter school zones.

School zones are typically clearly marked, and warning signs are almost impossible to miss. However, a driver who is texting or otherwise occupied may not notice them. Drivers must keep in mind that even a moment's distraction can cause the death of a pedestrian.

Statistics provided by authorities in Springfield underscore the importance of compliance with speed limits in school zones. The records indicate that a pedestrian who is struck by a vehicle traveling at 20 mph has a 95 percent chance of surviving the accident. In contrast, when a car is traveling at 40 mph when it strikes a pedestrian, that percentage drops to only 20 percent.

When a Missouri child is struck in a crosswalk, the parents will likely face high medical costs that may be ongoing if the child suffered serious injuries. Sadly, pedestrian accidents are often fatal, and while parents have to cope with the loss of a child, they will also have to make end-of-life arrangements that are typically costly. If the accident was the result of the negligent actions of another party, the parents would retain the right to file a personal injury claim -- or wrongful death claim when applicable -- in a civil court. Recovery of medical expenses and/or end-of-life expenses can be sought, along with other documented financial losses that were brought about by the accident.

Source: ksmu.org, "How to Safely Navigate the Back to School Traffic", Kathryn Eutsler, Aug. 12, 2015

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