Walking to School Can Expose Children to the Risk of Involvement in a Pedestrian Accident
Thousands of children in the Atlanta area walk at least part of the way to school every day. While walking to school can be a good source of exercise and allow children a little additional time to socialize, it also exposes them to the risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident. Data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration1 (NHTSA) indicates that of the 69,000 pedestrians who were injured in 2011, 11,000 of them were children aged 14 and younger.
Children are at particular risk for injury in a pedestrian accident, due to their smaller size, unfamiliarity with traffic laws, and inability to judge speeds and distances as well as adults. Fortunately, there are certain steps that parents can take in order to reduce the risk that their child will be hurt in a traffic accident. These include the following:
- Choose the safest possible route and practice walking it with your child – Choosing the safest possible route involves using streets that are not particularly busy and that have lower speed limits and limiting the amount of times your child needs to cross the street. In addition, choose a route that has sidewalks if one is available. Finally, practice walking the route you determine is safest with your child, taking special care to point out areas that may be more dangerous than others.
- Make sure that your child wears brightly colored clothing or it otherwise visible – Drivers are unable to avoid what they cannot see. By making sure that your child wears brightly colored or retro-reflective clothing, you can help make sure that motorists will be able to spot your child from a safe distance. In addition, children who walk during non-daylight hours can be made even more visible by carrying a flashlight.
- Teach your child proper crossing techniques at intersections and driveways – It is important to instill good pedestrian safety habits2 at an early age. Teach your child to look to the left, right, and then left again prior to crossing a street. In addition, it is important for children who walk in residential areas to learn to check to see whether there are drivers in parked cars who may be getting ready to start moving.
Contact an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer today to schedule a free consultation.
Traffic accidents are bound to happen even under the best of circumstances. Fortunately, Georgia law often allows people who are injured in pedestrian accidents to recover for their injuries. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call Boling Rice, LLC today at (770) 744-0890.