Many children walk to school or walk to the school bus stop every morning and every afternoon on their way home. Unfortunately, serious pedestrian accidents involving kids occur far too often. In fact, fatal child-related pedestrian accidents often take place during the after school hours, which could occur for several reasons including:
- Children are excited to be out of school and fail to look for cars before they enter the street.
- Children are playing with their school mates and may run into the street.
- Children are often not accompanied by an adult as they were in the morning.
Why Are Drivers Usually at Fault?
While children have been the cause of many pedestrian accidents around school zones, drivers of vehicles are generally the ones to blame for child-related pedestrian injuries and fatalities. This is due to the following things:
- Drivers fail to look for child pedestrians.
- Drivers fail to stop at stop signs.
- Drivers fail to reduce their speeds in school zones.
- Drivers fail to yield to crossing guards and children in crosswalks.
Additionally, some drivers may be blinded by the sun, have a hard time seeing through their dirty windshields, are participating in texting while driving, or doing something else that is distracting them and taking their eyes off the road and mind off of driving. When this happens, innocent children walking to or from school can suffer serious pedestrian injuries.
How You Can Help Prevent Child-Related Pedestrian Accidents
While we know that children aren’t the only victims of pedestrian accidents in our state—as Florida constantly ranks as one of the highest states in the nation for pedestrian fatalities and injuries—we would like to help reduce child-related pedestrian accidents this school year.
Here are some pedestrian safety tips to help keep elementary school children safe:
- Children younger than 10-years-old should have an adult walking with them near traffic.
- Children should be taught to always look Left-Right-Left for moving cars and only step out into the street when it is clear.
- Children should know to only cross at an intersection controlled by a light or a crosswalk.
- Children should be taught to always be looking for cars.
- Children should never run into the street.
While parents might not be able to be with their children as they walk to and from school, parents can help protect their children and reduce their chances of being in a pedestrian accident by reminding their children of these safety tips.
We encourage you to share this article on Facebook or Twitter with other parents you may know in order to help keep child pedestrians as safe as possible this school year.