What You Need to Know About Car Accidents in Pennsylvania School Zones

Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
July 3, 2024
School signal on the asphalt

As a driver, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers and increased risks associated with navigating school zones. When school is in session, the roads surrounding schools are bustling with students, parents, and school buses, making it crucial for you to be extra cautious and vigilant while behind the wheel.

Car accidents can happen anywhere, including in a Pennsylvania school zone. An accident in a school zone can be terrifying, but you can handle it with the right help. This is what the team at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. think you need to know about car accidents in Pennsylvania school zones.

What Are School Zones?

In Pennsylvania, school zones are designated areas near schools where special speed limits and traffic rules are in effect during certain times of the day to ensure the safety of students and pedestrians. These reduced speed limits are put in place to give drivers more time to react to any unexpected events and to decrease the severity of any potential accidents that may occur.

Every state has laws regarding school zones designed to make them safer. In Pennsylvania, the laws limit your speed to 15 mph and require a 10-foot gap between you and school buses. 

While these laws may seem simple and straightforward, Pennsylvania is consistently among the states with the highest number of school zone collisions or citations. 

Car Accidents in School Zones 

Car accidents in school zones are on the rise according to Safe Kids Worldwide. This means that kids are in danger when going to and from school. Plus, the high number of parents and caregivers rushing to pick up their children from school often makes school zones more congested during peak pickup and dropoff times.

To help prevent accidents, drivers should follow the speed limit, avoid distractions like texting or talking on the phone, and always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Parents can also encourage their children to walk in groups and wear brightly colored clothing to make them more visible to drivers. By working together, we can ensure that our kids stay safe on their way to school. 

Who Is Liable for Car Accidents in School Zones?

Determining liability can be a complex issue in car accidents in school zones. In most cases, the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident is held responsible for any damages or injuries that occur. However, other parties may also bear some level of liability depending on the specific circumstances.

School Employees

School employees have a duty to ensure the safety of students and pedestrians in and around the school grounds. This includes following proper procedures for traffic control, supervision, and maintenance of school property. If a car accident occurs as a result of negligence on the part of a school employee, they may be held liable for damages.

Other Drivers

On the other hand, other drivers on the road also have a responsibility to operate their vehicles safely, especially in school zones where children are present. If a driver fails to obey posted speed limits, stop signs, or other traffic signals and causes an accident, they may be considered at fault for the incident. In these cases, the driver would be held liable for any resulting damages or injuries.


Pedestrians also play a role in ensuring safety in school zones. Children and other pedestrians should always use crosswalks, sidewalks, and designated pathways when walking near schools. Failure to do so could contribute to an accident and may result in shared liability for any damages that occur.

What to Do if You Are in an Accident in a School Zone

In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a car accident in a Pennsylvania school zone, it is important to stay calm and take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all parties involved. This includes checking for injuries and calling for emergency assistance if needed. It is also important to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver and to document the scene of the accident, including taking photographs and obtaining witness statements.

Schedule a Consultation With a Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer

As a driver, the safety of your children is a top priority. Unfortunately, car accidents in school zones can happen in the blink of an eye, putting your loved ones at risk. Knowing what to do in these situations and understanding the laws in place is crucial to keeping your family safe on the road.

If you or your loved one has been injured in a school zone accident, you could be entitled to compensation. Call the team at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. at (215) 822-7575 or use our contact form. We are here to answer any questions that you may have about your legal options. 

Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
Pennsylvania Attorney's
July 3, 2024
Established in 1952 by Irwin S. Rubin, Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. boasts over 65 years of experience serving clients throughout Pennsylvania. Renowned for its commitment to ethical representation, the firm has garnered prestigious accolades, including being named the "Best Law Firm" for its outstanding legal defense work by U.S. News & World Report. Their team of seasoned attorneys, recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, brings unparalleled expertise to a wide range of legal matters, ensuring exceptional representation for individuals, families, businesses, and organizations.