Children are gearing up to head back to school for another year of classes. Unfortunately, returning to school means increasing risks for child pedestrian accidents.
Each school day, there are millions of students who walk to school or their bus stop. This is the perfect time to go over some important safety rules with children regarding safe pedestrian habits. We also want to use this time to remind drivers to pay extra attention for these young pedestrians as there will be an increase in school traffic.
Our Mesa accident lawyers understand that, as pedestrians, children are at even greater risk of injury or death from traffic crashes due to their small size, inability to judge distances and speed, and lack of experience with traffic rules. About a quarter of all traffic fatalities among children under the age of 14 are pedestrian fatalities, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Safety Tips for Walking to School/Bus Stop:
-Make sure that children leave with plenty of time to get to school on time. Rushing only increases risks for an accident.
-Make sure children are using the same route to school each and every day. Avoid using shortcuts.
-Whenever there are sidewalks available, they should be used.
-Parents should help children to pick the safest route to school possible. This route would ideally have sidewalks and lighted road crossings.
-Practice taking your designated route several times before the first day of school.
-Make sure that children understand and obey all pavement markings and traffic signals.
-Only cross where there are crosswalks or at a road crossing. Never cross at a non-intersection as these areas were most likely to see an accident.
-Before stepping on the pavement to cross the road, look left, right and left again for any oncoming traffic. Continue looking left and right as you cross.
-Never run across the street. You should always walk.
-If possible, walk in groups. You never want to walk alone.
-Discourage children from wearing headphones while crossing the road. Hearing is an important sense in avoiding an accident with an oncoming motor vehicle.
-If a child has to make a phone call or compose a text message, make sure they come to a complete stop before doing so. You don’t want to blindly walk into traffic.
-Parents should talk with other parents in the neighborhood to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
During this time, drivers are also asked to be cautious and follow all of the rules of the road. Remember that school zones will be up and working. These are the areas with the 15 miles per hour speed limits. Adjust your driving to accommodate these conditions and to help keep our student pedestrians safe.
Remember to reiterate these safety tips to your child throughout the year. It’s important that safety is always a top concern.
If you or your child has been injured in an accident in Mesa, contact our Mesa injury attorneys at (480) 833-1113 to discuss your rights.