Their smaller frames and minimal walking experience make child pedestrians insome of the most vulnerable users of our roads. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), auto accidents contribute to one out of every five fatalities involving children between the ages of one and 14 in the United States.
Pedestrians account for approximately 25 percent of those fatalities. Read on to learn more about pedestrian accidents involving children and some tips to prevent them.
Facts about Child Pedestrian Accidents
Child pedestrian accidents – like other pedestrian accidents – tend to be more severe than those involving only vehicles because the child does not have the protective frame, airbags, seatbelt, and other features offered by a passenger vehicle. According to the CDC, children have a fivefold increased likelihood of dying when involved in a pedestrian accident as opposed to being a vehicle occupant.
While accidents involving adults are very often linked to walking at night or walking while impaired, children are typically much more likely to be injured in an accident when running into traffic such as while playing with friends. Some child pedestrians may run into an intersection, or may become injured when disembarking from a school bus.
Overall, the highest numbers of pedestrian injuries occur in the age group of one to two years, reports the CDC. A toddler’s inability to look out for his own safety is an important factor in risk in this age group. Toddlers may also wander behind vehicles in driveways and their small size makes them difficult to see when backing out of the driveway. Some might walk into the roadway too.
Preschool children or young elementary school children may be injured in an accident when they dart out from behind a parked car. As a child becomes older, he is more likely to walk without adult supervision, and walks much more frequently, which may also increase his exposure to accident risks.
Many child pedestrian accidents occur soon after school hours. Children may be walking home from school or may be playing outdoors with friends, increasing exposure to traffic.
Prevention of Child Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents involving children are not necessarily an unavoidable part of walking to or from school, or playing outdoors with friends. Enactment of appropriate laws and policies that help protect pedestrians and investments in pedestrian infrastructure can help reduce the risk of such accidents. Examples of measures that communities might take include installing speed bumps and other traffic calming measures.
Meanwhile, parents can teach their children to stay out of the road and how to cross safely. Supervision is important when children are playing in areas near roadways, such as residential neighborhoods, especially for young children. Use of back-up cameras on vehicles may help prevent back-over accidents; drivers should always also check behind their vehicle before backing out of the driveway.
Can I recover damages for my child’s injuries in a pedestrian accident?
You may recover compensation for the medical expenses and other costs associated with your child’s injuries after a child pedestrian accident in Dallas. Damages are recoverable even if your child was partly to blame in the accident. This can allow you to pay any existing medical bills and ensure your child receives any additional treatment necessary in his or her care.
Talk to a lawyer about eligibility to recover damages and how fault might affect recovery. Call attorney Julie Johnson at 214-290-8001 or fill out the form on our contact page to schedule an appointment and discuss your case.