Westview Middle School

Two Girls Struck by Car, Saved by School Zone

How the School Zone Saved Two Girls

Austin, TX | October 14 2015 – At 7:26 am, two young girls were struck by a car on their way to school. The two girls were transported to the hospital with thankfully non-life threatening injuries. The crash happened in the school zone near Westview Middle School and the driver remained on the scene.

School Zones Save Lives

One key factor turned what could have been the tragic death of two children into a sad, albeit painful, news story. School zones are meant to, and do, protect children on their way to and from school. They protect the most innocent, and sometimes the most erratic, of our population in their pursuit of learning. The enforcement of the school zone is likely what saved these two girls’ lives.

Pedestrian Death Probability in Relation to Car Speed

According to the Transportation Research board, as many as 100 children are killed and 25,000 are injured on their way to school each year. By reducing speeds to even 20 mph, the likelihood of pedestrian death on impact is reduced to 5% (compared to the huge jump to 40% when traveling at just 30 mph). A driver who sees a pedestrian 100 feet ahead while traveling at 40 mph can only slow down to 38 mph before impact, while the same driver, if traveling at 25 mph has enough time and space to stop before reaching the pedestrian. Many drivers operate within a 5 mph wiggle room on either side of speed limits. But school zone speeds cannot be treated the same. These restrictions on car speed are vital to saving the lives of the most vulnerable among us.

Distracted Driving Prohibited Near Schools

While details haven’t yet emerged as to the exact cause of the crash, many crashes in school zones are caused by distracted driving, whether the distraction is a phone, sipping coffee, or even a child in the back seat. School zones in Austin have had a cell phone ban long before the city-wide hands-free ordinance, but many experts suggest avoiding even hands-free devices. 100% of drivers attention should be focused on the sometimes unpredictable behavior of young pedestrians.

Children are the most vulnerable of our society and it is the responsibility of adults to protect them from injury. The school zone likely saved the lives of these two girls, though they will be dealing with the emotional and physical pain and costs from the crash for a good while to come. 

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact a lawyer to help with the many questions and negotiations you’ll be faced with afterward. Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn are happy to evaluate your case quickly and without cost. Call us at 512-474-0222, use the live chat on our website, fill out the form on this page, or email info@mcminnlaw.com.