In a matter of seconds, a serious accident can change a child’s life forever. Unfortunately, many pedestrian accident victims are teens and young children. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 6,205 pedestrians died in road accidents and an estimated 76,000 sustained injuries in 2019.
Many of these collisions are unavoidable, but a little education about pedestrian crashes can go a long way toward preventing them. It is important that children understand the risks of the road and how to avoid becoming a statistic.
At the Morris Bart law office, we understand that even the most cautious pedestrians can fall victim to negligent drivers. If a driver injured you or your child, you can receive a free consultation with a Lafayette personal injury lawyer.
What Tips Should I Teach My Child?
According to the NHTSA, there are several steps you can take to reduce the chance that your child will be involved in a pedestrian accident:
If you and your children plan to walk along roads or even on sidewalks, it is important to be adequately prepared. Ensure you are visible to other motorists by wearing bright clothing during the day and reflective vests or accessories at night.
If visibility is low, use a flashlight to ensure adequate lighting. This will help you see your path ahead and make you visible to passing motorists.
If you are cycling or riding other wheeled vehicles, you will need a headlight and taillight at night. Your front light should be white, and your rear light should be red, just like on a car.
It is also important to plan your route. If possible, choose a route with less traffic or specific traffic calming zones. Adequate street lighting and sidewalks can also make a route safer. Consider things such as crosswalks if your child will need to cross the road at any time.
Educate Your Children
Parents must teach their children the rules of the road. Many serious accidents happen because young kids fail to use sidewalks or pedestrian crossings correctly. The NHTSA encourages parents to teach their children to walk on sidewalks, and if they must walk in the street, travel in the opposite direction of traffic.
Children must also learn to look left, right, and then left again before crossing driveways or roads. They must be aware of potential dangers approaching from behind. They must also know to cross only at marked crosswalks, corners, or safe intersections, and they must obey crossing signals at all times.
Many parents do not begin to teach their children the basics of pedestrian safety until they are old enough to walk alone to school, a nearby park, or a friend’s house. However, this is not the best practice. Instead, begin modeling the right behaviors and discussing them when they are walking with you as toddlers and preschoolers. This way, they become life-long habits.
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Why Is Pedestrian Safety So Important?
When a car hits a pedestrian, even at low speeds, the resulting injuries can be significant. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries (SCIs), and other life-altering or permanent impairments are possible. When the victim is a child, this could mean they require life-long care and support. Even when injuries are not permanent, they could require months of treatment, therapy, rehabilitation, and recovery. This is not something anyone wants for their child.
While pedestrians cannot prevent all collisions of this type, walking defensively and knowing the rules for staying safe can help. While your child is likely walking with you or another adult while they are young, they will eventually have the freedom and responsibility to walk places independently. Knowing they have good habits can give you peace of mind.
A child who is alert and proactive about road safety will be less likely to get in an accident. Prepare your children for all eventualities and teach them how to notice a distracted driver and evade an accident if necessary.
What If My Child Is Hurt in a Pedestrian Crash?
If a car hits you or your child, call 911 immediately. The dispatcher should send paramedics to the scene to treat injuries, and police should come to the scene and make a report.
Getting medical care is your top priority. If there is any pain, swelling, or other symptoms, a doctor should evaluate you as soon as possible. If the victim is a young child who may not be able to explain their injuries, a trip to the emergency department or their doctor is a good idea. Serious injuries may call for ambulance transportation.
Once you are aware of the injuries and have a treatment plan in place, it is time to think about how you will pay for the medical bills, missed work, and other damages. Most personal injury lawyers will assess your legal case against the at-fault driver for free and can help you understand your next steps. Many will go to work with no upfront costs for clients.
Discuss Your Options with a Morris Bart, LLC Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you or your child was in an accident caused by a driver’s negligence, call the Morris Bart law office. A Lafayette personal injury attorney from our firm can investigate your case and advise you on the best way to proceed. If you have a valid claim, we may be able to help you recover medical expenses and lost wages. We serve clients in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama. We are a contingency-fee injury law firm.
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