Friday, June 24, 2016

Child Pedestrian Safety Tips For Florida Residents


Child Pedestrian Statistics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides that in 2013, 4,735 pedestrians were killed[1] in traffic crashes in the United States. This averages to one crash-related pedestrian death every 2 hours.  Additionally, more than 150,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for non-fatal crash-related injuries in 2013.  

Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash and one in every five children under the age of 14 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.  Safekids.org[1] provides that in 2012, approximately 19,183 child pedestrians were nonfatally injured in motor vehicle-related incidents.  Further, 78% of child pedestrian deaths occurred at non-intersection locations.

Clearwater Safety Suggestions

Parents want to protect their children from harm but they cannot be with their children every second of the day.  As a result, Florida parents need to make sure that they teach their children how to walk to and from school safely and how to behave properly around moving motor vehicles.  Sadly, many child-related pedestrian accidents in Clearwater occur every year because a child ran into the street after a bouncing ball or because a driver was negligent and was speeding or ran a stop sign.

Whether your kids are walking to school, the park or a friend’s house, here are a few simple tips to make sure they get there safely.

       Teach kids at an early age to look left, right and left again before crossing the street. Then remind them to continue looking until they are 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 is always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and to 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 should 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 by putting your phone, headphones and devices down when walking around cars. 

       Teach kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.

   Encourage kids to be especially alert for cars that are turning or backing up.

    Teach kids not to run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

       If kids are walking when it’s dark out, teach them to be especially alert and make sure they are visible to drivers. Have them wear light- or brightly-colored clothing and reflective gear.
 

Injuries Caused by Child Pedestrian Accidents

Unfortunately, even the safest child may still get injured in a pedestrian accident due to a reckless driver.  When that occurs, it is likely that the child suffered a serious injury including:

           Head injuries:  Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injury, often require extensive medical treatment and long-term medical care. Head injuries can also lead to skull fractures, hearing loss, and vision problems.
 
           Back injuries:  Patients may experience reduced sensation of and control over their arms, hands, legs, feet, and other body parts. More serious forms of spinal damage can leave patients permanently paralyzed. Another common injury is a herniated disk which tends to be less severe than spinal damage or head injuries, but can still cause significant problems. Patients often experience numb or tingling sensations, muscle weakness, and arm or leg pain.

           Other injuries:  Injuries to the arms, legs, hands and feet can be common. Accidents involving pedestrians can see leg and foot damages including broken bones, ligament damage such as a torn ACL, and even severed limbs.

Contact a Clearwater Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

If any member of your family is hit by a car while walking in Pinellas County, it is important to receive medical treatment as soon as possible.  Once you are well enough to do so, consider speaking to a Clearwater pedestrian accident attorney to determine if the vehicle driver is responsible for providing you with compensation for your injuries and damages.  At the Dolman Law Group, our skilled pedestrian accident attorneys will investigate your case and protect your rights under Florida law.  Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900


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