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What should drivers do in areas where children are present?

All drivers are expected to exercise a duty of care to others that they come across on Houston roads. Whether those others are drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians, motor vehicle operators are expected to make good and reasonable decisions about their driving conduct to keep others from getting into harm’s way. When they act negligently drivers are hazards to themselves and the many others they can face when they choose to operate their vehicles.

Reasonableness guides many inquiries into whether drivers acted negligently in collisions with others. If a driver operated their vehicle over the speed limit or violated traffic laws like texting and driving or failing to yield, then their actions may rightfully be viewed as unreasonable and dangerous. Other scenarios may not be as clear cut.

However, when drivers are operating their vehicles in zones where children are or may be present, they must act more than reasonably: they must exercise a heightened sense of duty. Near schools, parks and other community-based locations where young people may congregate, drivers must be prepared to react to the impulsive and sometimes dangerous inclinations of children. Since kids cannot always be expected to make good decisions about their own safety, drivers must be prepared to react to save lives.

When in a school zone or driving where children are present, drivers can slow down, turn off their music, put down their phones and do whatever else helps them stay focused on whatever and whomever may appear before them. Children are often victims of auto-pedestrians accidents and when drivers stay vigilant they can help prevent injuries and deaths.