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Back-to-school time: Avoid an auto-pedestrian accident

It's an exciting time, when students head back to school. One unfortunate mishap that often coincides the start of the school year is the auto-pedestrian accident including New Haven County. Drivers may be unaccustomed to the increased traffic in zones that have been inactive all summer, and students may be unfamiliar with a new campus or neighborhood. Even the most brief of distractions can have devastating effects. A car can go from transportation tool to mechanism of injury should a driver or pedestrian lose focus on their surroundings.

Together with a local automobile club, Connecticut police are asking everyone on the roads, whether on foot or behind the wheel, to remain vigilant. Drivers should start safe practices before they leave home by getting into the mindset that they will encounter increased hazards. More buses are in operation and more people are afoot. Drivers should also be alert for kids on skates, bikes and scooters. Just as importantly, pedestrians are cautioned to never presume that just because they see a car that the driver sees them.

Officers also warn that Connecticut traffic laws will be strictly enforced. They say their most important goal in ensuring drivers adhere to safe driving practices is to protect students and other pedestrians. Police encourage drivers to remind themselves of traffic laws and be aware that even if an infraction doesn't cause an accident, they could still face hefty fines.

Hopefully, New Haven residents are off to a safe and smooth start to the school year. The risk of an auto-pedestrian accident is exponentially decreased when drivers go slowly, look carefully, expect the unexpected and use extra caution during inclement weather. Should something go wrong, though, Connecticut laws offer protections that may lead to compensation and that could help either the driver or the pedestrian recover from an accident.

Source: registercitizen.com, Police, AAA remind drivers to watch out for students as school starts, No author, Aug. 26, 2013

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