If you are like most parents, you go to great lengths to ensure your child is protected against car accidents and injuries. You pay close attention while driving, insist on safety belts, use the right kind of car seat for young children, and avoid dangerous driving behaviors behind the wheel. These are all good practices to follow, but there are likely dangers right in your own neighborhood that could put your child at risk. Child pedestrian accidents are unfortunately common, and often occur near or within just a few blocks of home. The following offers tips on what to watch out for and ways you can help prevent these types of potentially tragic accidents from occurring.
Child Pedestrian Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pedestrian-related car accidents send close to 130,000 people to the hospital each year, while nearly 6,000 end up losing their lives as a result. Even when injuries are not fatal, they can end up resulting in permanent disabilities.
Children are at an increased risk for car accident injuries and roughly one out of every five children under the age of 15 who are killed are pedestrians. Young children in particular tend to be impulsive, jumping into the road to chase after a lost ball or when seeing a friend. They also often lack the ability to use sound judgement or to make rational decisions when crossing the street. Add to this dangerous behaviors on the part of drivers, such as speeding, distracted driving, and running stop signs or red lights, and it is easy to see how accidents can occur.
Making Your Neighborhood Safe
Children naturally want to play outside with their friends. If they are a certain age, you may not think twice about letting them walk to and from the bus stop or to visit friends after school. While it is important to do your part in teaching them how to be safe as pedestrians, there are likely issues in your neighborhood which need to be addressed.
The National Center for Safe Routes to School recommends speaking to school board officials, city council members, and local law enforcement to help ensure crossing guards are near bus stops and speed limits are enforced. Other ways you can help make your neighborhood safer for young pedestrians include:
- Make sure speeds are set to a reasonable limit
- Requesting speed bumps to help slow drivers down
- Requesting crosswalks and crossing signs be provided
- Warning your children of the dangers of playing in driveways or near cars
- Encouraging neighbors to be aware that there are children at play in your neighborhood
Experienced An Accident? Get Help Today
In the event the unthinkable happens, and a loved one has been involved in a child pedestrian accident, the Anastopoulo Law Firm is here to help. Contact our South Carolina car accident attorneys today to request a consultation in our Charleston office or one of our seven locations throughout the state. We can act as a strong legal advocate on your side at a time when you need it most, helping you to get the compensation your child needs to recover.