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Spate of personal injury incidents near schools worry parents

There has been a growing number of accidents involving children outside their schools and parents are justifiably concerned about it. Prevention is vital, but it is similarly important to understand what steps to take after a child has suffered personal injury. That often includes considering a legal filing.

Since August, five children who were either walking or on a bicycle outside their schools were hit by a car. These accidents have injured elementary school students, middle school students and high school students. Attempts are being made to determine what factors played a role in the accidents including whether there were visibility issues, if weather was a concern or driver behavior was the cause. Parents have been advocating for improved safety near schools and staged a rally to call on legislators to do something to make the school grounds safer for children.

Recommended steps include lowering the speed limit to 15 mph when vehicles are within 500 feet of a school. Currently, vehicles are required to maximize their speed at 25 mph throughout the city. Certain intersections near schools are known to pose greater risk. Other ideas include the use of speed bumps, flashing lights and signs. An idea that is gaining traction is Vision Zero - a program that has been implemented across the nation and brings safety to the forefront with road design and maintenance.

In Alameda from 2011 to 2018, there were 16 fatalities and 82 instances of serious personal injury - an average of two fatalities and 10 serious injuries each year. Half the people who died were pedestrians. In that time-frame, there were at least 1,750 injuries due to traffic accidents. This does not account for close calls or accidents where there was no report filed.

Increased attention and demands that the city act to reduce the number of accidents involving children near schools is a positive. However, that does not mean these incidents will be eliminated completely even if the recommendations are implemented. People who are hurt or lose a loved one in an accident should be cognizant of the medical expenses, lost income and other problems that can come about. A law firm experienced in personal injury cases can help with investigating the case from the victim's perspective and with pursuing compensation in a lawsuit.

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