It is back to school season, and the law offices of Wiener & Lambka would like to take this time to encourage parents to take a couple of minutes to remind their children about the dangers of traffic as they are coming to and from school this year.
In 2015, one in five children under the age of 15 who lost their lives in traffic accidents were killed while on foot. It is estimated that as many as 178,000 children were injured in traffic crashes and accidents, a 6% increase from 2014.
Children distracted by increasingly prevalent mobile and electronic devices is rapidly becoming a critical concern. When the pedestrian habits of over 3500 Canadian children were observed, over 18% displayed behavior consistent with distracted walking. The most prevalent behavior observed was walking with earbuds on, coming in at over 66% of kids observed. Other behaviors included talking, texting, internet surfing, and playing video games.
Pair that with distracted drivers, the prevalence of whom is at an all-time high, and the result can be a catastrophe. If you’re ever in need of a pedestrian accident lawyer near or in Seattle, call Wiener & Lambka today and schedule a free consultation.
Pedestrian accidents are not uncommon, but the fact that you’re unprotected in an impact with a 3000+ pound heap of metal can lead to some long-lasting and serious injuries, especially if you have suffered an impact to the head, and especially if you’re a small child, because small children are still in development.
Even beyond the distraction of mobile and electronic devices, many of our nation’s school zones are simply not as safe as they could be. Only 4 out of 10 school zones observed by safekids.org were found to have speed limits of no more than 20 mph, and 30% of crosswalks were unmarked. Conditions like these were found to have led to an increased number of students crossing improperly or unsafely, such as against a red traffic light, somewhere other a designated crossing area, or by suddenly darting out into the street without looking.
When you talk with your kids about traffic safety, please remember to highlight the following safety tips and protocols:
- Never enter a roadway without stopping at the edge of the street first.
- Always take the time to look left, right and in any direction that a car could be traveling, including behind them.
- Wait until it is completely clear before crossing.
- While crossing, stay alert and keep a lookout.
- Walk steadily across the street at a consistent pace.
- Never use your phone while crossing a street.
- Do not rely on your friends or the group you are with when making sure that the path is safe – ascertain the safety for yourself.
- If a vehicle has stopped for you make sure that you make eye contact or do a hand signal such as a thumb’s up so that your child knows that the driver sees them.
- Be aware that drivers don’t always follow the rules, including stopping for school buses.
- If it is not fully light out, take extra care to make sure the road is safe to cross. Wear clothing that is bright and/or reflective.