Parents in Springfield who have children of elementary school age might have nightmares about their safety as pedestrians. There is no doubt that the impulsiveness and activeness of children under the age of 10 years make them unpredictable, and they are still in need of supervision and guidance. If you have a young child, you might be interested in learning that most fatal pedestrian accidents involving young children involve boys, and they occur during the hours after school.
Although you might actively attempt to teach your child about pedestrian safety, a few pointers suggested by safety authorities might make your job easier. It often helps to look at typical circumstances that lead to pedestrian accidents involving young children.
Frequent causes of young-pedestrian accidents
Children are easily distracted, and while your children might start their walk with good intentions to be alert and obey the rules, the slightest distraction could have devastating consequences. It might be smart to make them aware of the following potentially dangerous situations:
- Vehicles might turn without yielding for a child who thinks the WALK signal or green light guarantees their safety. They might not realize that they should remain cautious even in those circumstances.
- Children who play in residential neighborhoods might dart across the street without thinking -- chasing after a ball or a friend without stopping to check for oncoming vehicles.
- Getting off the school bus poses many dangers because the bus can obscure the view of drivers. When buses stop on undivided highways, motorists must stop to avoid striking children who exit the bus, and the bus driver must signal the children when they can safely cross.
- Excited children around an ice cream truck might unintentionally run into the street, and drivers must slowly pass stopped ice cream trucks.
- Backing up hazards exist in driveways, parking lots and other areas where drivers might reverse. You might be wise to teach your children always to check to see if there is a driver in any vehicle behind which they pass, as well as to watch the reverse tail lights to warn them of a driver's intention to back up.
It is always wise to treat crossing a driveway in the same way as crossing a street -- by looking both ways before crossing.
Myths and facts
Your children might learn about some of the myths about pedestrian safety from friends. It will be up to you to teach them the facts. The most dangerous myth might be that a green light means it is safe to cross while they still have to check LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT before crossing.
Even if they see the driver of a vehicle, he or she might not see them, and making eye contact is crucial. There is also no guarantee that a driver will stop if there are children in the crosswalk. For that reason, waiting for cars to stop before crossing is safest.
If your child suffers injuries in an accident that involved a negligent driver, you might have grounds to pursue a civil lawsuit. Establishing negligence and documenting financial losses that include future damages is a daunting task, but help is available. Experienced legal counsel can provide the required support and guidance throughout the navigation of a personal injury lawsuit in an Illinois court.