Despite road signs and designated pedestrian crossings, pedestrian injuries caused by car accidents remain unresolved in this country. What is more alarming is that according to the national data, child pedestrian accidents are the second leading cause of accidental death among children ages 5 to 14 in the U.S. An in-depth accident analysis revealed that the head was the most frequently and severely injured body part of child pedestrian, and that head injuries could lead to lifelong disability or even deaths. The lack of protection is what makes a pedestrian completely vulnerable to serious injuries when struck by a moving vehicle. This is true even when the vehicle is traveling at a low speed because of the significant momentum of the vehicle’s weight and the hardness of the vehicle’s surfaces in comparison to human flesh. Children have a higher risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident as they have less traffic knowledge as well as being physically and cognitively less developed.
There are many factors that contribute to these accidents. The most common ones include negligent and hostile drivers, lack of knowledge on pedestrian rules, insufficient training of children by their parents, and dangerous or hazardous roads or curves. Statistics have shown that the greatest increase of child-pedestrian and child-car accidents take place when school begins. This would be the time where motorists should be more alert to their surroundings by exercising a greater degree of caution. However, the responsibility of preventing child pedestrian injury should not entirely depend on motorists. Parents and teachers should also participate in educating children on how to cross the streets safely. Parents should begin this process by obeying traffic signals and markings so that they would serve as role models to their children. Parents are also advised to talk to their children about the increased risk of motorists driving too fast or too close to children walking on the side of the road. Another precautionary measure would be for the parents to trace the child’s route to and from school while in the car with the child. In doing so, the parents would be able to point out potential danger locations or areas where children should avoid. Teachers, on the other hand, should reinforce this by reminding their students to take extra precautions when crossing the streets. These efforts taken as a whole will minimize the tragic impact of child pedestrian injuries.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.