Thousands of people are killed or injured in pedestrian accidents yearly in the United States, including children and teenagers. However, parents, family members, and caregivers can help reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents by helping their children learn and practice safe pedestrian behaviors.
Children can be impulsive, and many are not yet mature enough to understand the consequences of hitting the road.
This has the unfortunate consequence that one of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents involving children or adolescents has to do with their not knowing how to behave responsibly near traffic, and it is common to hear of accidents caused by a minor who jumps in front of or behind a vehicle. Other causes of pedestrian accidents involving children include, but are not limited to:
- Distracted driving
- Reach accidents
- Car park accidents
- Driving while intoxicated
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Accidents in school zones
- School bus accidents
Drivers have a duty to avoid accidents with pedestrians. Motorists should remain alert and slow down in areas where children may be present, such as neighborhoods, parks, schools, and playgrounds. Additionally, parents can help their children avoid pedestrian accidents by teaching them these important safety tips:
- If they are small children, always go hand in hand with an adult when crossing the street or walking through a parking lot.
- If walking without an adult, stop and look before crossing a road. Look twice in both directions to see if there are any cars moving.
- Always cross the road at a marked pedestrian crossing or at an intersection, if possible.
- Do not hit the road for any reason. If you drop an item, it is important to wait for traffic to clear before picking it up.
- Always walk on the sidewalk.
- Whenever possible, walk in a group.
- Do not play near roads and streets.
- If possible, wear clothing with visible colors.
- Pay attention to backing cars when walking through a parking lot.
- Put away your phones and other electronics while you walk. This in order to always stay alert and pay close attention to their surroundings.