Virginia and the rest of the country are grappling with back to school plans and how best to both protect our children and still provide them the education and other services they need. While many districts have decided on hybrid or full distance learning, eventually, once the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control and eventually eradicated, the laughter of children will once again fill school playgrounds across the state.

With the potential of so many months of schools remaining closed, the following study is especially important once drivers need to really pay attention for children as they are driving through school zones. While drivers should be especially focused in these areas, this study reveals that as many as one in three drivers are engaged in distracted driving behaviors when they do.

School Zone Study

Recently, a school zone study was conducted by a California-based tech company, Zendrive. Zendrive develops tools that capture and analyze driving behaviors for different entities, including insurance companies, fleets, and other types of organizations. In the study, the company analyzed 75,000 school zones across the country and how drivers behaved in those zones. The results are alarming. Despite all the laws on state books that address distracted driving and hand-held devices, almost 90 percent of drivers used their phones while driving through the school zones.

Even more alarming is the number of drivers who engaged in cell phone use and texting while they were dropping off or picking up students, especially during the times of afternoon pickups (between the hours of 2 pm to 5 pm) which the study found to be 40 percent more dangerous than the morning drop off period (7 am to 10 am).

The state of Virginia received an overall grade of B. While many municipalities in the state received a grade of A or B when it comes to safety, there were several cities and towns received a grade of D, including:

  • Virginia Beach
  • Newport News
  • Suffolk
  • York

Distracted Driving Dangers

The researchers who conducted the study hope that the results will get the attention of drivers and remind them they need to adhere to safe driving behaviors at all times, but especially when in the area of schools. Using a phone while driving increases the risk of crashing 20 times. It has been shown that in the mere seconds it takes to look at your phone and read a text message (less than five seconds), a car that is moving at 55 mph will travel the length of a football field. While school zone speed limits are much lower than 55 mph, those five seconds that your eyes are off the road looking down at your phone can mean life or death for that small child you don’t see in time.

Let a Virginia Injury Attorney Help

If you have been injured in a crash caused by a driver who was texting and driving or some other distracted driving behavior, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have. The legal team from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp has been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled Virginia car accident attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today at (833) 997-1774 for a free case evaluation.