Educating Children About Safe Walks to School

The school bell is about to ring, and students across the state will be back to studying and homework. But they’re also back to increased risks for pedestrian accidents. During the first month of every school year, we see a significant increase in injury and a significant increase in the number of pedestrian accidents.
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And that’s why we have the Indiana Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program. According to the Indiana Department of Transportation that was created to make walking and biking to school safe and routine.

Our Highland child injury lawyers understand that oftentimes children don’t understand all of the dangerous associated with walking near traffic. This is why it’s imperative for parents to step up and to address pedestrian safety. In 2010, nearly one in every five children between the ages of 5 and 9 who were killed in traffic crashes was a pedestrian, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Unintentional pedestrian injuries are the second leading cause of death in the United States for children between 5- and 14-years-old. Teenagers are also at greatest risk. Teenagers have a death rate twice that of younger children and account for half of all child pedestrian injuries in the past five years.

Before the big first day, share these safety tips with the young pedestrians in your family:

-Talk with your children about how to be safe while walking.

-Make sure you plan out a route for your child to take to and from school. This route should be along less-traveled roadways and it should be equipped with sidewalks as well as safe intersections.

-It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.

-Make sure that children always cross at an intersection. Accidents are more likely to happen at non-intersection areas.

-Before children step onto the pavement, teach them to look left and right for oncoming traffic. Teach them to keep looking left and right as they cross the road for any surprise dangers.

-Make sure your child crosses the road with their headphones off. Pedestrians can use their hearing to help to avoid an accident.

-Try to make eye contact with drivers when crossing the road. Just because you can see them, doesn’t always mean they can see you.

-If a child needs to use a cell phone, make sure they know to come to a complete stop on the side of the road before using it.

-Have your child walk with a group of kids from the neighborhood who go to the same school. Safety in numbers largely applies to pedestrians.

-Get out there and walk with them before the big day. Show your children how to walk safely.

Attorney Burton A. Padove represents traffic accident victims. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call (219) 836-2200 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Increase in Intoxicated Pedestrian Accidents in Focus, Indiana Injury and Family Lawyer Blog, August 10, 2013

Speed: A Deadly Factor in Indiana Teen Driving Accidents, Indiana Injury and Family Lawyer Blog, July 30, 2013