While the coronavirus pandemic has made this school year unlike any other in history – and largely turned the safety conversation to topics like social distancing and face masks – safety advocates are reminding parents of the broader spectrum of autumn risks that greet students and motorists alike.
We all have increased concerns when it comes to child safety and the start of the school year. But this year is unlike any other in modern history, with the coronavirus pandemic causing much stress and uncertainty in all of our lives.
Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties all expect to begin in-person classes on Monday Aug. 31. Most families will also have the option of enrolling their child in some form of virtual learning; in Lee County, that means Lee Connect or Lee Virtual School.
But, while the pandemic brings its own unique risks, the fact remains the most common causes of serious and fatal child injuries have not changed.
Knowing what causes “accidents” is the best way to prevent them.
Our car accident attorneys recently posted about the dangers of aggressive driving in Southwest Florida as the nation seeks a return to normalcy amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Forms of aggressive driving have become so pervasive that it is a factor in virtually all traffic collisions; even those blamed on a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs are typically caused by some form of aggressive driving.
At its most basic, if you are not driving safely, you are driving aggressively. While aggressive driving nearly always involves breaking a traffic law, some forms may just be a violation of common sense (distraction can fall into this category).
Amid so much uncertainty, one thing is certain: This Back-to-School season will be unlike any other in history.
The Lee County School District has ordered teachers to report Aug. 18, with the first day of in-person, face-to-face instruction scheduled for Aug. 31. Schools in Charlotte and Collier counties also plan to open to students on Monday Aug. 31.
While concerns about COVID abound, our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know the normal risks of child injury remain acute at this time of year, and in some ways COVID may make traditional risks, like bicycle and pedestrian accidents, even more of a concern.
The New York Times reports animal shelters across the country are seeing increased interest in pet fostering and adoption. From a practical standpoint, spending weeks working from home can be a perfect time to introduce a new pet into the home and get past the worst of the house and obedience training. However, our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral urge you to do your homework before bringing a new pet into your home. Particularly if you have small children, choosing a pet can have a significant impact on risk of injury.
While the pandemic has most of us familiar with the workings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta as it relates to combating the flu and other viruses, the agency conducts research on a broad range of health topics, including pet ownership.
A recent tragedy in Southwest Florida highlights the risk of backover and driveway accidents.
The Fort Myers News-Press reported the death of a 5-year-old girl, who was struck and killed in a driveway on Cypress Lake Drive. The Florida Highway Patrol reports the girl was struck by a Jeep Wranger pulling into the driveway around another parked vehicle that was obstructing the driver’s view.
Injuries to children in driveways most commonly result from backover accidents. Large holiday gatherings are the unfortunate scene of most of these tragedies. The prevalence of large gatherings of family and friends, the start of colder weather up north, and the popularity of today’s large pickup trucks and SUVs all play a role.
Early darkness and Halloween are a dangerous time of year for pedestrian accidents, particularly those involving younger children in residential neighborhoods. The most dangerous time is right at dusk.
But our Fort Myers injury lawyers know Halloween is also a time of year of increased accident and injury risks from other causes. Defective product injuries increase around Halloween and remain elevated through the long holiday gift-giving season. Injuries on private property, drunk driving collisions, and an increasing number of injury incidents at organized events, including the well-publicized tragedy at the 2015 Zombicon in downtown Fort Myers, have made Halloween among the most dangerous times of the year.
Four Southwest Florida drowning deaths have occurred in less than a month, prompting authorities and safety advocates to renew calls for better water-safety awareness as we head into the tourist season.
The Naples Daily News reported child safety officials are pledging to beef up education campaigns to families about never letting their guard down and following safety practices. One child drown at a pool party, another died after a sliding door was left open. A third drowning death reportedly involved an autistic child. Charlotte County authorities have released few details about a fourth drowning death under investigation last week.
With drowning deaths in all three of Southwest Florida’s coastal counties, authorities are reminding residents to practice open water safety, but to not forget the risks posed by backyard swimming pools. Two drowning deaths in Collier County, a drowning death in Lee County, and the drowning death in Charlotte County all involved swimming pools. Florida leads the nation in the number of private swimming pools.
Fort Myers injury lawyers know the state’s more than 1 million residential swimming pools pose a significant risk to the public. Children are at especially high risk, but vacationers and tourists visiting during the winter months also face increased risk of drowning or near-drowning accidents.
The school year gets underway in Southwest Florida on Aug. 12, and motorists should expect to begin seeing an increasing number of young people walking or cycling to school, particularly during the early morning hours and the start of the afternoon commute.
Florida is already the most dangerous state in the nation for both bicyclists and pedestrians. The beginning of the school year, and the arrival of early darkness, often lead to an increased risk of child injury.
Our Fort Myers child injury lawyers urge you to use caution, particularly near school zones or while traveling through residential neighborhoods. Providing children the right-of-way is always the best bet when it comes to reducing your chances of being found responsible for causing a tragic accident.
School buses will be back on the roads of Southwest Florida next week as the 2019-2020 school year officially begins Monday Aug. 12.
Our injury lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral urge all motorists to use caution as the school year begins. Taking an extra couple of minutes can literally avoid a tragedy. More than 70 percent of eligible students ride the bus in Lee County, which operates more than 700 buses traveling more than 12 million miles each school year.
For parents, the Lee County School District offers a searchable database of school-bus routes. Motorists should just count on seeing school buses during their morning and afternoon commute.