VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Driving safely around school buses and heavy traffic

Florida residents are probably aware of the challenges they face on the road when school starts. School zones force them to slow down. They see more children darting out onto the street, and they find themselves sharing the road with school buses. Safe driving is a priority at all times, but especially during the school season.

The following tips should be kept in mind. First of all, drivers must slow down when school buses have their yellow lights on. When their red lights are on, and their stop arms are extended, the law requires drivers to stop. Drivers are encouraged to keep a 10-foot safety zone around a stopped school bus. They must refrain from all activities that take their attention away from the road, such as calling, texting, eating and adjusting the radio.

Heavy traffic poses challenges, too, with cars pulling out of alleyways, driveways and parking lots. Pedestrians can also neglect to cross at a crosswalk, and bicyclists can pull up at a blind spot, putting themselves at risk. It is up to drivers to reduce that risk by being alert. Drivers should look ahead, especially at vehicles' taillights, and check their mirrors frequently. They should not stray from familiar routes. Lastly, drivers must properly maintain their vehicles.

Poorly maintained brakes, for instance, will increase the chances of a rear-end collision. When car accidents arise through negligence, those who are not to blame may be able to file an injury claim and be covered for their medical expenses, vehicle repair costs and other losses. Auto insurance companies can be aggressive in denying claims, so having the assistance of a lawyer is crucial.

Personal injury attorneys usually work with a network of professionals who can investigate accidents and gather proof against the defendant. Lawyers can also take care of the negotiations and litigate if a settlement cannot be reached.

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