In Texas and across the country, August means back to school. As a leading Texas personal injury law firm, we have seen various back-to-school accidents that can cause injuries and emotional distress for students and their families.
While the excitement of a new school year fills the air, there are steps we can all take to ensure a safer school experience for commuters, students, staff, and the public.
Common Back-to-School Classroom Accidents in Texas
Students are not the only ones gearing up for a new school year. Administrators, teachers, and custodians are all returning to the facility for the first time. As everyone returns to a standard routine, there is plenty of room for accidents inside the school, on playgrounds, in parking lots and surrounding streets, and in sporting facilities.
- Hazards Inside the Building
Slip, trip, or fall hazards like wet floors and cluttered areas can cause significant dangers for everyone in the building. Likewise, any unmaintained building areas, like water leaks, broken stairs, missing handrails, or other hazards that remain unfixed from the previous year, can place people in jeopardy of suffering significant injuries.
Schools are responsible for prioritizing safety by promptly addressing maintenance issues and ensuring a hazard-free learning and recreation space for students and faculty.
In addition, the school cafeteria — and classrooms, hallways, or free periods where kids can share food — can be a potential danger zone for students with food allergies. Schools should be vigilant in managing food allergies, keeping allergen-free zones, and having staff trained to respond to allergy-related emergencies.
- Playground Hazards
Playgrounds are an exciting hub of activities before and after school and during recess and lunch breaks. Unfortunately, they are also a place where accidents and injuries occur. Slips and falls, faulty playground equipment, and collisions with other kids can lead to injuries that place learning on hold.
Schools must maintain playgrounds regularly and provide adequate supervision to minimize these risks.
- Athletic Hazards
The start of the school year brings the excitement of organized sports, especially in high schools across Texas. While going out for any team sport is exciting, it is also physically demanding.
Proper safety measures, well-maintained sports equipment, and competent coaching can help reduce the likelihood of sprains, strains, fractures, over-exertion – especially in the Texas heat, and concussions in any sport.
Common Back-to-School Traffic Accidents in Texas
Back to school means a change in everyone’s morning routine. With these changes come increased morning traffic, more school buses, and more school zones that require everybody’s full attention during their commutes — even if they do not have school-aged children. Without their full attention, accidents will happen.
- Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving is a significant problem on Texas roadways and throughout the U.S. When drivers look down at their phones instead of focusing on the road, the unthinkable can occur when children cross the street or are in another vehicle. Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or attention away from getting to their destination safely is distracted driving and puts everyone at risk.
- School Drop-Off/Pick-Up Accidents
School zones and pick-up and drop-off zones mean there are a lot of cars and kids in a single location every morning and afternoon. This congestion can lead to frustrating circumstances for those in line and drivers passing by.
Parents and drivers should exercise patience, follow designated pick-up/drop-off procedures, avoid dangerous maneuvers and pay attention to the road.
- School Bus Accidents
School buses are larger than most other vehicles and carry some of Texas’s most vulnerable population: Our children.
Bus drivers and other motorists must exercise caution when sharing the roadways. Motorists must be prepared for school buses to make frequent stops and watch for children entering and leaving the buses during pick-ups and drop-offs.
- Pedestrian & Bicycle Accidents
In many Texas neighborhoods, kids can walk or bike to and from school without issue. This requires students, commuters, and pedestrians to yield the right of way to those moving with the proper traffic signals. This is especially true for drivers who must be alert and attentive in school zones and residential areas.
Common back-to-school accidents can occur at school and in traffic anywhere in Texas. Students, faculty, parents, and the public need to take proactive steps to prevent injuries and protect the well-being of each other each day.
Contact Our Skilled Personal Injury Attorney Today
Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys hope everyone has a safe school year and that there is never a time when parents, teachers, or children need us. If you do, we stand ready to help you. Call our skilled Austin personal injury attorneys at (512) 883-0277 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. We pursue dedicated, driven results for our clients, and there is never a charge to talk to an attorney.