One of the most heartbreaking tragedies is when a child is the victim of a pedestrian traffic accident. In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 264 children 15-years or younger were killed in pedestrian accidents and another 13,000 were injured. Many of these children were on their way to or from school when they became victims of a traffic accident.
Children Pedestrian Safety
Pedestrian traffic accidents are the fifth leading killer of children between ages five and nineteen, with one out of five traffic deaths in children 5-9 being a pedestrian accident. There is a need for better child safety, starting with teaching children from a young age the basics how to protect themselves from pedestrian accidents. Some of these basic rules include:
- Always walk on a sidewalk or path off the road whenever possible.
- Never cross a street in mid-block. Always cross at an intersection or crosswalk.
- If you must walk on a road, walk facing traffic as far to the edge of the road as possible
- Even at a crosswalk, look both ways (left, right, left) before attempting to cross the road.
- Pay attention to where you are walking. Walking distracted (playing games, texting, etc.) can lead to accidents.
One of the largest issues currently is teenage pedestrian deaths and injuries. Distracted walking is a large problem with teenagers that constantly are on their phones, listening to music or playing with their electronic devices. Teens have double the pedestrian fatality rate of younger children and make up half of all the children pedestrian deaths each year.
Driver’s Responsibilities For Children Crossing The Street
It is not just children and parents that need to be aware of child pedestrian safety. All drivers need to be alert for children, especially in neighborhood areas where children are more likely to be present. It is the person behind the wheel who ultimately needs to be watching for children and ensuring they do not endanger them with their vehicle. Some basic rules that could save a child’s life:
- Slow down. Especially in neighborhoods where children are likely to present and near schools and parks, slow down and pay attention.
- Turn in carefully. When turning into a driveway or alley, be on the watch for children.
- Don’t drive distracted.
It only takes a second for a child to dart out after a ball that rolls into the street or to decide to cross the road. Distracted driving is one of the largest factors that can take a driver’s eyes off the road for those precious few seconds in which a child can suddenly appear. Electronic devices are not just distracting for kids and teenagers, they are also one of the main causes of traffic accidents. Drivers need to ignore their phone or at minimum, use a hands free device while driving to ensure they are keeping their eyes on the road.
Children Pedestrian Accident Injury Lawyers In Chicago, Illinois
If a child is injured in a pedestrian accident, there is a good chance that the motorist will be found liable for their injuries. Child injuries can have long-term consequences, so it is important to know exactly what the medical costs and treatments will be. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side if your child is injured in a pedestrian traffic accident can ensure that there is adequate compensation for all medical needs and other expenses that are attributed to the injury.
Learn more about the impact of pedestrian accidents involving children: