August is Child Pedestrian Safety Month and the timing could not be better. As children return to school, many of them on foot or bicycle, this is a perfect opportunity to discuss road safety with your child.
Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that fatal pedestrian accidents are on the rise. In 2009, more than 240 children under the age of 14 were killed while walking in the United States. On average, children sustain 39,000 non-fatal pedestrian injuries each year.
Add to the mix teen drivers who may be driving to school for the first time and the possibility for pedestrian accidents is obvious. Back to school season is certainly an exciting time for children - and their parents - but don't let safety get lost in the shuffle.
Keeping your student safe
If your child plans to walk to school this fall, be sure to go over some essential safety reminders that can help keep them out of harm's way.
- Walk with your child until they are comfortable with the route to school and demonstrate an awareness of traffic safety.
- Plot the safest possible route. Avoid construction zones, high-speed roads and other dangerous areas.
- Make sure your child can recognize and obey traffic signals. Stress that awareness is important even if they have the right-of-way and remind them to always look left, then right, then left again before crossing the street.
- Direct your child to only cross at designated crossings. Most child pedestrian injuries and fatalities occur when children dart into the road or enter the street from behind visual obstructions like trees or parked cars. Teach your child to always be visible to motorists.
However safe your children are, even the most cautious pedestrian can be caught off guard by a reckless driver. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else's negligence, an experienced personal injury attorney can work with you to help preserve your claims and get your life back on track.
Source: The Children's Trust, "Get Safely Back to School: August Is Child Pedestrian Safetyu Month at Children's Trust," Nicole Brown