Child pedestrian accidents a concern as school starts
This fall, there may be an increased risk of a child getting hit by a car as children walk to and from school or the bus stop.
Summer is over, and kids everywhere have traded beach towels and flip flops for backpacks and binders. Drivers in Florida have likely encountered children throughout the summer crossing streets on their way to parks, swimming pools and friends’ homes, but the risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident has not diminished now that school has started. In fact, children may face more danger now than during the summer.
A major reason for this risk may be that the times children walk to and from school often coincide with busy rush hour traffic. It’s also difficult for drivers to see children when they’re contending with the early-morning glare of the sun or seasonal rain and fog. For whatever reason, children are among those most at risk of being hit by a car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 22 percent of all fatal traffic accidents involving children were pedestrian accidents.
PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS ARE A PROBLEM IN FLORIDA
Pedestrian crashes are of particular concern in Florida, where the weather remains mild year-round and is generally inviting to people who walk. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported 473 pedestrians killed and 7,413 injured in the state in 2012.
According to Smart Growth America, busy metropolitan streets, like many throughout Florida, are dangerous areas for pedestrians to walk, accounting for almost 15 percent of all U.S. traffic fatalities in 2012. This news is sobering for parents whose children walk to school.
Early in September, a 9-year-old boy and 8-year-old girl walking to their bus stop in Jacksonville were both struck by a car as they crossed the street, reported News 4 Jax. The boy was expected to recover, but the girl was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.
The risk of getting into an accident like this one indicate why 9 percent of the children who don’t walk find other ways to get to school, say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The common ways children face danger in traffic include:
- Crossing at intersections, including in a designated crosswalk.
- Walking in dim light, such as early morning or in the evening.
- Walking near places where cars park, such as parking lots, driveways or along sidewalks.
The risk is especially great for children under the age of 14, since at these ages children are less experienced with walking near traffic.
CONTACTING AN ATTORNEY
Pedestrian accidents often cause serious injuries. If you or your child has been hit by a car, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options.
Keywords: pedestrian, accident, children, injury