Our students are back in the classroom and they’re ready to tackle the school year. Unfortunately, parents and guardians are skipping out on what could be the most important education of all — walking safely to and from the bus stop/school.
Officials with the National Safety Council (NSC) offer some important safety information, helping to keep safe the millions of students who walk to school each and every day.
“There is nothing as important as getting students to and from school safely,” said Gary Catapano, senior vice president of safety for First Student.
Our Montgomery child injury attorneys understand that there were a more than 32,360 people killed in traffic accidents in 2011. Of these fatalities, children under the age of 15 accounted for close to 1,150 (about 5 percent). During the same year, there were also more than 170,000 of these young individuals injured in traffic accidents. Regarding pedestrian accidents, children under the age of 15 accounted for 20 percent of the pedestrian fatalities recorded throughout the year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2010, nearly one in every five children between the ages of 5 and 9 who were killed in traffic crashes was a pedestrian.
Most commonly, these accidents happen between 4:00 p.m. and 7:59 p.m. The second highest percentage of fatalities among young pedestrians was between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.
Seventy-nine percent of the pedestrian fatalities among the 14-and-younger age group occurred at non-intersection locations, a decrease from 82 percent in 2010.
Helping to keep our children safe during their commute to and from school/the bus stop:
-Children should always cross the road at street corners or intersections. This is best done at intersections with traffic signals, crossing guards and designated crosswalks.
-Children should avoid walking and engaging in distractions. Phones, mp3 players and other distractions should be kept for another time. Full attention is required for a safe journey.
-Parents should help children to designate a safe route to school. This route should be practiced a number of successful times before they’re allowed to go at it alone.
-Children’s backpacks should never be overstuffed. It should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of their body weight.
-When walking to school, parents should make sure that children are wearing bright/reflective clothing to make sure that motorists can see them.
-Remember that it is much safer to walk on a sidewalk, but if pedestrians must walk in the street, they should walk facing traffic.
-Remind kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street and to watch out for cars that are turning or backing up.
-Always be aware of your surroundings.
-Be predictable. Stay off freeways and restricted zones. Use sidewalks where provided. Cross or enter streets where it is legal to do so.
-Make sure that you always listen for cars that you may not be able to see.
If your child has suffered an injury, contact the accident attorneys at Allred & Allred P.C. for experienced advice about your rights. Call for a free consultation at 334.396.9200.
More Blog Entries:
Alabama Gun Accidents & the Risk of Child Injury, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, January 22, 2013
Bumbo Seat Could Cause Child Injury in Alabama, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, February 23, 2012