San Francisco analytics company, Zendrive, has analyzed data from almost four million drivers on the road near 75,000 schools. Distracted drivers near schools put children at risk for pedestrian accidents. The results of Zendrive’s study have been compiled into a map that consumers can access online to see which schools received top grades and which ones failed when it came to cellphone use and driving.
School Safety Snapshot
Zendrive’s technology uses the sensors on a smartphone to capture data about driver behavior. It can detect collisions, aggressive driving, and distracted driving, as well as other patterns of behavior. The study, titled School Safety Snapshot, showed 88 percent of drivers used their phones at some point while driving, and a third of the drivers in school zones exhibited unsafe behaviors. According to Zendrive’s CEO, Jonathan Matus, the afternoon is the most dangerous time of day for children walking near schools and is approximately 40 percent more dangerous than in the morning.
The most common cause of car crashes is human error. Driver behavior accounts for more than 90 percent of all motor vehicle accidents, and one in four is caused by using a phone while driving. Over the last two years, traffic fatalities are up by 14 percent and the National Safety Council says that cellphone use is a factor in the increase, along with a greater number of cars on the road.
What Your Community Can Do
Approximately one out of every 11 schools are within 500 feet of heavy traffic roads. Pedestrian collisions happen six times more frequently on these roads. Children are smaller and harder to see as they cross busy roads to arrive and depart their school grounds. Because of their size, they are also more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries if struck by a vehicle in a pedestrian accident. It follows that drivers need to pay more attention to the road when driving in a school zone.
Matus hopes that parents and local law enforcement will make use of the new maps to help keep children safe. Parents who live in areas that received low scores can take the information to local school boards. The police can use the information to decide where to focus their resources to make streets safer and hold distracted drivers accountable.
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