How Can I Keep My Child Safe From Pedestrian Accidents?
Whether they are outside with a parent, playing with friends, or walking alone, children are at risk for being hit by a car. Our Chicago pedestrian accident lawyers know this can happen anytime children are near a roadway.
Unfortunately, when children are hit by cars, they are almost always injured and sometimes are killed. This, due to the negligent driving of an adult.
Pedestrian accident statistics￼
In 2011, there were 4,978 collisions between pedestrians and automobiles in Illinois. Of those crashes, 4,752 resulted in injuries. An additional 136 pedestrians were killed.
This means that in all of the pedestrian accidents in Illinois that year, 99% resulted in injuries or death. Eight of those killed were children under the age of 15.
Pedestrian safety tips for children
No parent wants to see their child injured, especially due to the negligence of a driver. So, we have compiled the following safety tips and recommendations. These are intended to increase awareness of pedestrian crashes involving children and reduce them throughout the state:
Always walk along a sidewalk and never in a street
Children should always walk in the safest place possible, and that is what sidewalks are designed to provide. It is also a good idea to tell children only to walk on streets with sidewalks. This will eliminate the temptation to walk in a street if there is not a sidewalk present.
Plan out walking routes with children
If a child is going to take the same path over and over again, it is a good idea to select a safe route. For example, while walking to school, to a babysitter’s house, or even over to see a friend.
Tell your child to take that route when walking. This can let parents pick out safe, residential streets over busy commercial areas. It decreases the amount of vehicular traffic and reduces the risk of an accident.
Always cross at a designated crosswalk
Kids do not always think of safety first. Therefore, it is a good idea to remind them to always cross a street at an intersection.
They should not cross mid-block. While this may be easy to remember on large streets, children often have a temptation to run across a road in a quieter area. Especially if their destination is in the middle of a block and they want to get there quickly.
Drivers do not expect children to run out in the middle of the road and are less able to avoid a collision if this happens. Therefore, make it a household rule that crossing is only allowed in a crosswalk.
Follow traffic signals and wait your turn
The rules of the road are there to protect everyone. This includes children, to protect them from getting hurt.
This means that kids should follow the traffic signals and only cross when they have the right-of-way. They should always walk across an intersection, never run.
That way cars have plenty of time to see a child coming. Also, they will obey any signs that apply to pedestrians.
Wear bright and reflective clothing
While it may seem simple, having a child wear bright, reflecting clothing can make a big difference to their safety. Studies show that bright clothing makes it easier for drivers to see pedestrians.
Therefore, it’s less likely that a collision will occur. Further, letting a child pick out a reflective jacket can be a fun way of introducing safety topics into a daily routine and make it more fun to wear.
Never walk or play where cars drive
This is one of the most overlooked safety topics when it comes to children. Parents should always tell their kids not to play where cars drive.
This includes parking lots, parking garages and alleyways. The danger is that drivers are less likely to look for children in these places.
Further, very light vehicular traffic can give kids a foolhardy sense of safety. This is particularly true when kids play along curbs in piles of fall leaves or in snow banks.
Leaves and snow may look like a great way to have fun. However, city and county employees who clean the streets are focused on their jobs. They are not always looking out for kids who can be completely obscured from view.
Avoid pedestrian accidents by walking in numbers￼
Whenever possible, children should walk with an adult or friend who can help them follow the traffic rules.
Walking in greater numbers also increases the chance that motorists will see pedestrians. Hopefully, drivers will then yield the right-of-way, preventing collisions.
Pedestrian have the right-of-way
In many cases, pedestrians have the right to go in front of vehicles when crossing streets or roads. However, not all drivers are aware of this. Further, of those that are, many forget that they must yield to those walking.
It is always best to prevent an accident from occurring whenever possible. And further, to keep everyone, including pedestrians and drivers, safe.
Talk to your kids about pedestrian safety
The more you talk about safety with your kids, the more likely they are to remember your advice. You want them to know how to walk safely and implement safety techniques in their daily lives.
Contact a pedestrian accident lawyer at Abels & Annes, P.C.￼
If your child has been injured in a pedestrian accident due to the negligence of a driver, there may be a claim for damages. The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C., our Chicago pedestrian accident lawyers understand that each case is different and unique.
We have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day to discuss the facts involved in your case. Call and let us help you today.
If your child is the victim of a pedestrian accident, call (312) 924-7575 or contact us online for a free case consultation.