Every year, almost 5,000 people are killed and 70,000 are injured in pedestrian accidents. To put those numbers into perspective, that averages out to roughly one pedestrian death every two hours, and one pedestrian injury every 8 minutes.
We are now almost a week into the month of August and before you know it children all across the state of Illinois will be heading back to school. Having dealt with many cases involving injuries to children, our lawyers know how important it is that every parent be educated on how to keep their child safe when heading to and from school. Together, we have compiled some tips on teaching your child about the dangers of pedestrian accidents, and measures that they can take to prevent them.
Young Children Need Supervision-If you are a parent, you know that young children are often unaware of the negative repercussions that come with their actions. They often move quickly and without caution, and each year this results in many children being injured or killed when they happen upon the path of a motor vehicle. Teach young children that it is dangerous to cross the street without an adult. If your child must use a driveway or lawn to wait for the school bus, establish some sort of barrier (this can be a physical barrier or a mutually agreed upon area near the road that cannot be used to play in).
Set Up Ground Rules and Teach by Example-Whether you are a parent or not, if you are around children, they watch you and notice your actions as an adult; more often than not, young children will believe that if an adult behaves in a certain way, it must be correct. When you are around children, be a proper role model by walking on the sidewalk (if one is available) and walking on the side of the road facing traffic if no sidewalk is present. When crossing the street, always cross at the corner or using a crosswalk with a walk signal, and stop at the curb. Exaggerate when looking left-right-left for traffic in all directions before and during your crossing, and explain to children why you are taking these precautions.
Encourage Your Child-When your child crosses the street with you using proper safety precautions, make sure to praise them and let them know that they did a good job. Children need to know that these habits will keep them safe and internalize it to the point that they are repeating them whether you are there to see it or not. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
Our attorneys know that accidents involving pedestrians can be particularly damaging, especially when they involve young children with still-developing bodies. If you or a loved one has been injured in an Illinois pedestrian accident, or if you are the survivor of a pedestrian who has been killed in a traffic accident, contact us online or call our attorneys anytime for a free consultation to explore your legal options.