As we recently reported on our Indiana Injury And Family Lawyer Blog, students across the state are heading back to school this month and motorists need to be cautious these young ones on our roadways. A great number of children walk and bike to school, or use these forms of transportation. Motorists are asked to be extremely cautious on our roadways to avoid an accident that results in child injury in Indiana.
“The most precious thing we have as parents is our children. We want to make sure that when our children go to school…they arrive at school safely,” said Sgt. Steve Whitaker with Indiana State Police.
Our Highland personal injury lawyers understand the dangers that pedestrians face on our roadways. These risks are greatly increased when the pedestrian is a young child. Young children don’t fully understand the workings, patterns and dangers of passing traffic. We ask that all motorists be extreme cautious during the school year to help keep our young ones safe.
Here are some safety tips, from the National Safety Council, for your child that is walking to school this school year:
-Remind you child to always use a sidewalk if one is available.
-If there is no sidewalk for your child to walk on, make sure that they know to always walk facing traffic.
-Remind them that they should always cross the street at an intersection or at a street corner.
-Always accompany children that are 10-years-old or younger on their walk to school.
-Make sure that your child knows to look both ways for oncoming cars before stepping into the road to cross the street.
-Make sure that they continue to look left and right as they’re crossing the road.
-Require that your child walks across the road. Never allow them to run. Running makes them more likely to trip and fall in the path of traffic.
Students that ride a bike to school need to be cautious as well. Parents are urged to talk to their young students about the following bicycle safety tips:
-Make sure your child always wears a helmet.
-Check to see if their helmet fits correctly. You should only be able to fit the width of two fingers between their eyebrows and their helmet.
-Make sure that your child is familiar with the bicycle laws in your area.
-Require that they always bike on the right side of road. Multiple bikers should always ride together in a single file-line traveling in the same direction as traffic.
-Bike riders should come to a complete stop before crossing the road.
-Bicyclists should not cross the street until they’ve received an okay from stopped motorists.
-Make sure your child is wearing brightly colored clothing so motorists are more likely to see them.
-Ride with your child if they’ll be traveling before the sun rises or after it sets.
-Make sure your child’s bike has lights and reflectors.
-Practice bike riding with your child so they’re more experienced and knowledgeable when they hit the road alone.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic accidents are the number one cause of death for children between the ages of 3 and 16. This cause of death accounts for approximately 20 percent of fatalities of young ones ages 5- to 9-years-old. Your child is most likely to be involved in an accident with a motor vehicle mid-block and within residential neighborhoods. Talk with your child and make sure they understand the importance of safe travel habits. Again, we wish everyone a safe and happy school year!