Keeping kids safe is a 24/7 job. Even the simple act of walking has become more dangerous in recent years. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization dedicated to helping kids avoid serious injuries, the rate of fatalities from 12 to 19 year old pedestrians getting struck by a car are up 13 percent since 2013.
What do we know about pedestrian accidents and teens?
We know that every week in the United States there are approximately five teen pedestrian deaths. These deaths are linked to unsafe habits. Habits like:
- Distraction. Safe Kids ran a study observing 39,000 teens in 2016. During this study, they noted one in four high school students and one in six middle school students were distracted while walking. Of this group, almost one-third were distracted due to texting.
- Not following drop-off or pick-up procedure. It is not always convenient for parents to wait in line to drop-off or pick-up their kids in the designated areas. However, these areas are there for a reason. A failure to abide by these protocols can result in kids getting put into dangerous situations.
- Unsafe crossing. The same Safe Kids study also noted 80 percent of students had unsafe crossing behavior. This included failing to cross a street within designated areas.
Although some of these findings may be disturbing, there are proactive steps we can take to reduce the risk of our children becoming a victim of a pedestrian accident.
How can I keep my kids safe?
Parents can take simple measures like following drop-off and pick-up protocol. It is also helpful to talk to your kids about safe walking habits. Parents can also help by advocating for lawmakers in their neighborhoods to have clearly marked crosswalks and encourage enforcement officers to enforce speed limits in school zones.
Unfortunately, even when these and other steps are taken a pedestrian accident can happen. If your child is injured in this type of accident, remedies are available. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your options.