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Do drivers have different duties when children are present?

When an Ohio resident gets behind the wheel of their car they are expected to operate their vehicle with care and to act reasonably given the circumstances that they encounter. That can mean slowing down when traffic builds, using caution when weather makes it difficult to see and practicing safe driving at intersections where they may encounter other automobiles or pedestrians.

It also means practicing awareness of important child-related zones, such as those near schools and parks, and using caution to avoid tragic collisions with children. School-aged children are often the victims of auto-pedestrian accidents because they are small and difficult for drivers to see; given children's propensities for following their impulses drivers are tasked with using caution in these zones to prevent injuries and deaths.

This can mean slowing down and obeying lowered speed limits that are often placed in child zones. It can mean being vigilant to one's surroundings to be sure that no children are nearby or in intersections where a car must pass. It can mean being ready to make fast stops when children dart out into streets to cross them or to retrieve items that may have fallen into vehicles' paths.

Any time that a driver gets into their car they are expected to exercise reasonable care. Depending upon the circumstances of their driving conditions reasonableness may look very different from trip to trip. The expected presence of kids in school and park zones places an extra level of duty on drivers to be safe and use good judgment. When drivers disregard their duties and allow dangerous driving practice to take over, child victims of auto-pedestrian accidents can result.

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