STATEN ISLAND, New York — School zones have been dangerous places according to statistics recently published by SILIVE.com. A comprehensive analysis of New York City’s school zones shows that the busier areas in the City in which schools are located tend to have a greater amount of pedestrian and bicycle crashes. The raw data show that Staten Island, which is the least populous of the five boroughs, saw the fewest number of pedestrian and bicycle crashes in school zones. By contrast, Manhattan and the Bronx experienced a significantly larger number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents in school zones because of the larger volume of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
In Staten Island over the last seven years, statisticians determined that 140 pedestrian and bicycle accidents that have led to a serious injury or death of the victim have occurred in the borough’s school zones. The study delineates a school zone as a 500-foot radius from the school property. Additionally, the statisticians only studied the time from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday when analyzing the school zone accidents.
The researchers did more than count accidents. They looked at the reasons for the accident, as noted by an investigating police officer. Out of the 71,000 pedestrian and bicycle accidents that happened in New York City school zones from 2012 to 2019, police could not specify a particular reason for the crash in 36% of accidents. When police could assign a reason for the crash, they most often cited driver inattention and distraction, also failing to yield the right of way to the pedestrian or bicycle rider, and pedestrian or bicycle rider error or confusion. Driver distraction accounts for approximately 15,000 pedestrian accidents each year in New York City.
Experts caution parents to talk with their children about walking safely and avoiding their own distractions, as well as obeying all street signs and traffic laws. Motorists also need to remember to pay attention to the road and ignore other potential distractions.
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