Pedestrian Safety for Children – School Zones & Back-OversFebruary 10, 2017 | Category: Pedestrian Accidents, Personal Injury | Share
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reported that in 2013 one in every five children under the age of 14 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians. Many of these pedestrian accidents happen in school zones and as the result of vehicle back-overs.
According to a pod cast in October 2016 on WSJ Video (Wall Street Journal), five teens in the U.S. die every week while walking. Twelve to nineteen year-old pedestrian death rates have risen 13 percent over the last two years, according to NHTSA.
Kate Carr, CEO of SafeKids.org. said in the pod cast that the organization conducted an observation survey of 39,000 young pedestrians and 56,000 drivers around school zones. What the survey found, according to Ms. Carr, was that 10 percent of drivers in the school zones were distracted, and 1 in 3 were exhibiting some form of bad behavior behind the wheel such as blocking crosswalks, stopping mid-block, or double parking. Many school zones observed did not have a lower speed limit of 20 mph or below. 15 mph is the recommendation of SafeKids.org. The organization asks communities and parents to take a look at high-risk areas.
Top 5 tips for school-zone safety from SafeKids.org:
- Teach kids at an early age to look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Then remind them to continue looking until safely across.
- Teach kids to put phones, headphones and devices down when crossing the street. It is particularly important to reinforce this message with teenagers.
- It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Children under 10 need to cross the street with an adult. Every child is different, but developmentally, most kids are unable to judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars until age 10.
- Be a good role model. Set a good example by putting your phone, headphones and devices down when walking around cars.
According to Kidsandcars.org every week at least fifty children are being backed over by vehicles in the United States. The predominant age of the victims is one years old. When analyzing the vehicles involved, over 60 percent are larger sized vehicles such as trucks, vans and SUVs.
The Kidsandcars.org “Back-over Fact Sheet” recommends the following:
Drivers should heighten their awareness before engaging a vehicle into reverse; especially when children are present. Young children are impulsive and unpredictable; still have very poor judgment and little understanding of danger.
- Always walk around and behind a vehicle prior to moving it.
- Know where your children are. Make sure they move away from your vehicle to a place where they are in full view before moving the car. Verify that another adult is directly supervising children before moving your vehicle.
- Install a rearview camera, back-up sensors and/or additional mirrors on your vehicles. Use these devices in addition to looking around and behind your vehicle carefully to detect if anything is in your path before backing.
- Teach children that “parked” vehicles might move and make sure they understand that the driver might not be able to see them, even if they can see the driver.
- Teach your children to never play in, around or behind a vehicle. The driveway is not a safe place to play.
- If you have an adult passenger with you, ask them to stand outside the vehicle and watch for children or animals as you back out. Ensure they are a safe distance away from the vehicle so that they are not in any danger.
- Be aware that steep inclines and large SUVs, vans and trucks can add to the difficulty of seeing behind a vehicle.
- Keep toys, bikes and other sports equipment out of the driveway.
- Trim landscaping around the driveway to ensure drivers can see the sidewalk, street and pedestrians clearly when backing out of a driveway. Pedestrians also need to be able to see a vehicle pulling out of the driveway.
- Install extra locks on doors inside the home high enough so children cannot reach them and toddlers cannot slip outside on their own.
- Roll down the driver’s side window when backing so you can hear if someone is warning you to stop.
- Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times of the year such as holidays.
“If your child has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact our experienced Fort Myers Accident Law Firm to assist you. There are no costs or attorney fees until you win,” said Attorney Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Fort Myers Personal Injury Lawyer, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.