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Many Traffic Crashes in NYC Occur in School Zones

August 12, 2022
School Zone

School zones are designated areas of roadways that are generally within proximity of a school or school building. School zones were specifically designed to slow down the speed of traffic, particularly near crosswalks, to ensure the safety of crossing students.

Signs inform drivers that they’re entering school zones and must urge caution by reducing their speed limit and being extra alert to passing pedestrians. But even with these safety measures, children, students, pedestrians, and other motorists can still get injured in school zones by careless or negligent drivers.

Why School Zones Are Extremely Dangerous

A six-month investigation by Streetsblog uncovered that roads near NYC schools are uniquely hazardous, with injury and crash rates that exceed the city’s averages. The investigation also found these glaring details:

  • During school days, roads near schools are, on average, more hazardous than other city roads. Around 8 am, when numerous students flock to the 1,600 public schools, there are 57% more traffic crashes and 25% more injuries per mile on roads near schools than on other roads in NYC.
  • Drivers get into accidents approximately 50 times and hurt about a dozen people near public schools when schools are operational. This translates to about an accident every 29 minutes and serious injuries every two hours.
  • Roadways are particularly hazardous outside schools where most students are children of color or underprivileged. Crashes in these school zones are common as well. The reason for this is the lack of access to motor vehicles in these areas. With fewer vehicles available, children have no choice but to walk to school.
  • On the Erasmus Hall campus in Brooklyn, 224 injuries and 481 crashes occurred outside the school during the studied period. The students had no choice but to walk right next to drivers who are scrambling through a swarm of vehicles at the intersection of Church and Flatbush avenues. Some drivers recklessly swerved to cut ahead, while others parked their vehicles near bus stops while using their cell phones.
  • The crossing guards, who are mostly women of color, have reported that they’ve been threatened, cursed at, and spit on by drivers. Almost all of them said they’ve been almost struck by drivers. Likewise, drivers have injured at least 10 crossing guards since 2014 and killed two crossing guards. For all their troubles at work, these guards earn a little over the minimum wage and health care benefits.
  • Drivers have killed approximately 24 children walking or biking to or from their schools in the last 10 years.
  • The city’s efforts aimed at minimizing the dangers in school zones have proven insufficient, leaving the most vulnerable residents in NYC exposed to unnecessary risk.

Seek Legal Guidance From a Seasoned NYC Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or your child has been injured in an NYC school zone by a negligent motorist, get in touch with Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman today. Our NYC personal injury attorneys know how overwhelming an accident can be, so we’ll work hard to secure the best possible results for your case. Reach us online or dial 212-285-3300 to schedule your free consultation with our NYC personal injury attorney.


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