Stay focused while driving- Especially in School Zones

ThinkstockPhotos-177598403We often ourselves in a rush to get to work or to an event while fighting through traffic due to our fast paced lives.  According to the National Safety Council, speeding is one of the top three reasons for fatalities on the road.  Approximately 13,000 lives lost each year due to speeding and driving distractions.  As the school year begins, Jamaica Hospital’s Trauma team urges you to slow down and abide by the speed limit, especially in designated school zones.

In a research conducted by, it was noted that it would take a distracted driver twice as long to reach a complete stop compared to an attentive driver under the same driving conditions.  It could be a matter of life or death. Abiding by the school zone speed limit is crucial to any child’s safety. The purpose of a school speed zone is to reduce the speeds of traffic so that:

  • A driver has more time to recognize and react to a schoolchild within the travel way, allowing enough distance to slow, avoid and/or stop prior to an incident.
  • School children, especially young school children, can anticipate car movements to safely cross the street.
  • A vehicle-pedestrian crash will be much less severe at a reduced speed as evidenced by the following statistics according to the National Highway & Traffic Association (NHTA):

Vehicle Speed Chance of Fatality

40 MPH 80%

30 MPH 40%

25 MPH 20%

20 MPH 5%

 Here are some additional ways to avoid a motor vehicle accident as back-to-school traffic approaches:

  • Be patient when a school bus comes to a full stop- this will require you as the driver to stop as well.
  • To avoid any anticipated driving stress, be sure to plan your route the day prior and leave with a sufficient amount of time to anticipate any traffic delays or road closures.
  • Avoid being distracted and place the cell phone away or ensure you receive calls with your hands-free technology.
  • Be sure to abide by your local speed limits

Being a cautious driver is being the best driver you can be and your community will thank you for it.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.