The school year is underway across Pennsylvania and this means parents
have a new set of safety concerns. As much as we hope that nothing will
ever happen to our children, the reality is that kids are at risk of being
involved in auto, pedestrian, bicycle and other types of accidents during
their school commute.
One of the biggest risks that children face are pedestrian collisions.
According to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there will be 460 visits to U.S. emergency rooms over the next 24 hours
that are made by pedestrians who were involved in collisions with motor
vehicles. Additionally, there will be one pedestrian killed from a motor
vehicle accident an average of every two hours.
Pedestrians of all ages can be hit while walking, but certain groups are
at greater risk than others. As pedestrians, children are at a high risk
of injury or death from collision due to their small size, inability to
judge speeds and distances, and overall lack of experience with traffic
rules. For children under the age of 14, as many as 25 percent of all
traffic fatalities happen when the child is a pedestrian and is involved
in a collision with a vehicle.
Parents can take precautions to ensure that their children do not get hurt
by talking to their kids about the following basic safety tips:
- Teach kids to look both ways before crossing the street. It is best to
get in the habit of crossing at a designated crosswalk or intersection.
- Walk on a sidewalk or path whenever possible; If one is not available,
pedestrians should walk on the shoulder of the road, facing traffic.
- Remind children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street
and to be on the lookout for cars that are backing up or turning.
Motorists on the road also have an obligation to be watchful of pedestrians
and avoid causing dangerous conditions for kids walking to class or to
the bus. Drivers need to be alert to the fact that there is more foot
traffic on the roads during the school year. Drivers should:
- Be extra cautious in neighborhoods and in school zones, especially as sun
glare is often a factor at the time of day when kids walk to and from school.
- Come to a complete stop a safe distance away from a stopped bus. It is
illegal to pass a school bus. Motorists must stop completely when the
bus has flashing lights and has its stop arm extended.
Drivers and pedestrians can both play a part in avoiding accidents by following
the rules of the road and using extra caution during the school year.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident,
contact the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Metzger Wickersham today for
a free and confidential consultation.