Children are often the victims of pedestrian accidents. On 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention reported that one in every five children under the age of 15 who were killed in a traffic accident were pedestrians. In the fall, as children enjoy the end of warm weather and maximize “playtime” after school, the risk of pedestrian accidents is higher. If you are a licensed driver or a parent in Connecticut, here is what you need to know about child pedestrian accidents and how to reduce the risk of an accident:
Why The Fall Is So Dangerous for Child Pedestrians
In the fall, just after kids head back to school, it is not uncommon to see children outside in nearly every neighborhood one drives through. From playing catch to tag, riding bikes or kicking balls, children love the outdoors in the fall, and are found in yards, playgrounds, sidewalks, driveways, and even the street as such. This is a major part of the reason why the fall is so dangerous for children; there are simply a lot of children outside.
In addition to an increase in numbers, children often do not pay attention to their surroundings, or understand risks and dangers, as do adults. Some common child pedestrian accident types include:
- Driveway accidents. One of the most tragic vehicle accident types that involve children are driveway accidents. These types of crashes occur when a child is within a driveway, and a vehicle backs into/over the child without seeing them.
- Neighborhood accidents. The driveway accident often involves very young children. A type of pedestrian crash that may affect older children are accidents that occur on neighborhood streets, typically as a combination of the child being within the street for a game, to chase a ball, etc., and the driver not paying attention or not expecting to see the kid. When this happens, it is often referred to as “the darting child,” explaining that children often dart into the road with little regard for traffic.
- Intersection and crossing accidents. Children aren’t always killed while they are playing; sometimes, they are hit when they are walking and exercising their pedestrian rights. Intersection and crossing accidents occur when a child fails to look both ways for vehicles or yield to vehicles, or when the negligence of a driver is involved.
Preventing Child Pedestrian Accidents This Fall
Child pedestrian accidents don’t have to happen; when they do, negligence–the failure to exercise a reasonable degree of care–is almost always involved. Here are some things that you can do to reduce the risk of a child pedestrian crash:
If you are a parent, talk to your child about safe playing and walking. Remind them to:
- Never play around parked or moving vehicles;
- Never run into the road to retrieve a ball or toy – if a toy goes into the road, ask an adult for help;
- Always bike on the sidewalk, not the road;
- Always cross at the crossing walk, and with an adult (depending upon the child’s age);
- Stop, look, and listen before crossing; and
- Walk, don’t run, when crossing the street.
If you are a driver in Connecticut, then you already know that there are a number of things that you can do to exercise safe driving techniques. Especially around areas where there may be children, always:
- Slow your speed, and never driver at an unsafe speed or an illegal speed;
- Yield to children, and don’t always assume that they will wait for your car to pass even if you have the right of way;
- Never, ever operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol;
- Never text and drive; and
- Familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods you drive – if you are driving in an area where you know that children live and play, exercise extra caution.
Representing Child Pedestrian Accident Victims and Their Families in Connecticut
We hope that you and your family get through the summer with nothing but sun-touched skin and a lot of fun, and that your child being involved in a pedestrian accident is something you never have to deal with. If your child is involved in a crash in Connecticut, we want to reassure you that our experienced Connecticut pedestrian accident attorneys at The APEX Law Firm, LLC are here to protect your rights and advocate for you. If your child is hit by a negligent driver, do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the recovery options available to you. We can be reached at (860) 900-0900 or by using our convenient website contact form.