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Drive Safely in Residential Neighborhoods

By Renee Nordstrand on September 22, 2017

children-2088382_1920Did you know that in the United States, there are more children killed by motor vehicles, comparatively, than other first-world nations? Even though our healthcare system gives a child injured in a crash a better chance of survival, it’s not enough.

Driving through residential neighborhoods is different from cruising along a highway—it can require more care and caution. In particular, drivers must be careful of children who may run into the street.

Speed Limits and Laws

According to the California Driver Handbook, the speed limit in residential neighborhoods is a strict 25 mph, unless otherwise indicated by a sign. This means drivers need to slow down accordingly, and drive even slower if there is a lower speed limit posted for the street.

The speed limit near schools while children are outside is also 25 mph (unless posted otherwise), through some school zones have speed limits of 15 mph. Failure to obey these speed limits can result in very high fines and, more importantly, put children in danger.

Sharing the Road with School Buses

There are specific laws in place for driving on the road with school buses in California. When you approach a school bus, watch for yellow lights that indicate it is slowing down to let children off. If it is, you must also slow down and prepare to stop. Flashing red lights indicate that kids are about to get on or off, and you must stop a safe distance away from the bus on either side of the street.

The only exception to this law is if the road is divided, or the road is a multi-lane highway with two or more lanes in each direction, and you are on the opposite side of the road. Then you do not have to stop.

Driving Around Children at Play

When driving through neighborhoods, always watch out for children at play who could enter the street at any time. Young children may not yet have the ability to accurately judge the distance and speed of approaching vehicles, so they might think they are safe when they are not.

Watch for kids or warning signs of children. If you see a ball come bouncing into the road, for example, always expect a child to follow. You should also be aware that cars parked along the side of a road or in driveways can obstruct your view and make it difficult to spot a child until the last moment.

If your child has been injured by a reckless driver, call us at NordstrandBlack PC today at (805) 962-2022 to discuss your case. We know how to handle pedestrian injuries, and can help you get the treatment your family needs to begin healing.

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