Chadwick & Lakerdas

Protecting The Rights Of Injured People In Hyde Park Since 1986

Walking with your child can help teach pedestrian safety skills

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) most recent available data, 245 children in the United States were killed after being hit by a car in 2016. When any pedestrian is hit by a car, severe injuries can occur. This is especially true if the pedestrian is a child.

Drivers have a responsibility to look for pedestrians and to yield to pedestrians in many circumstances. However, children may not automatically know how to behave safely when they are walking near traffic. As a parent, there are several actions you can take to help your child develop these skills.

Take your child for walks

One good way to teach your child pedestrian safety is by going for walks with your child. As you encounter different situations on your walks, you can explain how to act safely in each situation. You will be able to model safe behaviors, and your child can practice those behaviors.

Some behaviors your child should practice, include:

  • Walking on sidewalks when they are available
  • Walking facing traffic when sidewalks are not available
  • Looking left, right and left again before crossing the road
  • Crossing at crosswalks or street corners when possible
  • Obeying traffic signals at crosswalks

Make rules for avoiding high-risk situations

There are several situations that can be risky for your child as he or she is walking. An understanding of these risky situations can help you establish appropriate rules for your child to help minimize his or her risk of being hit by a car.

For toddlers, driveways can be especially hazardous. Drivers who are backing up may not be able to see a toddler or small child standing behind the vehicle.

Toddlers should have parental supervision. However, it is also important to teach toddlers and young children not to play around or underneath vehicles. When you are walking with your child and you encounter a driveway, teach your child to stop and make sure no one is backing out of the driveway before passing it.

Another hazardous situation for children involves the child darting out into the street. This can happen when a child chases a toy or pet into the street or when the child rushes into the street to meet someone on the other side.

Children under 10 years old should wait to cross the road until an adult is present because children in this age group typically are unable to judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars. Young children should never run out into the street, and should find and adult to retrieve toys or pets that may end up in the roadway.

Although you may not want to think about the possibility of your child being hit by a car, teaching your child pedestrian safety skills can help prevent a tragedy like that from occurring. If your child is hit by a car, it may be appropriate to seek justice. You may be able to receive compensation for your child’s medical expenses and other expenses associated with his or her injuries.

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