Automobile accidents kill more children aged three and older than any other cause of death. Many of these are children who were walking or riding bikes. Every day, close to 45 children are hurt by a car hitting them while they are walking.
The start of school means that more children will be on the streets: walking to school, walking to bus stops, walking to after-school activities. More children are struck near schools than in other locations. While drivers must be extra cautious around schools, they should be vigilant in any place where children tend to gather.
Most collisions are preventable. One key to prevention is comprehending the risks that can result in a car accident. Attorneys, insurance companies and accident investigation experts study crashes to understand the cause of the wreck and how it could have been prevented.
Children’s behavior is an important causal factor in many collisions between cars and young pedestrians. Knowing the following facts about children will make you a safer driver.
Children don’t see the same things that drivers see.
Children are lower to the ground than adults and cars, and they have a narrower range of peripheral vision than adults. Therefore, they have a limited capacity to see the full picture and judge any given traffic situation.
Children are not able to consistently make good judgement calls about safety.
Children have difficulty predicting the consequences of actions so they may not see how their decisions, such as crossing against the light, can lead to an accident. Since children don’t drive, they don’t know how cars are likely to maneuver or how to judge the speed and distance of cars. In addition, they often don’t know what the rules are for cars and pedestrians. Without knowing the rules, they can’t predict what drivers are going to do next.
Children are easily distracted, especially when they are with friends.
Children’s first priority is usually not safety. Instead, they are focused on things like who can run the fastest or jump the furthest, avoiding the cracks in the sidewalk, or looking at an electronic device. Groups of children often play as they walk: running, laughing and rough-housing. They often inadvertently push each other into oncoming people and bikes or into the road. Children who might pay attention to safety rules and cues while walking alone often forget those habits when in a group. And children walking alone might be watching a dog down the street, looking in store windows or texting a friend, completely oblivious to traffic dangers.
All of this means that pedestrian accidents must be prevented by automobile drivers rather than young pedestrians. Drivers need to understand that most children just aren’t capable of ensuring their own safety while walking. Safe drivers will compensate for children’s lack of visual perception, limited capacity to make safe decisions, and tendency to be distracted.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an auto wreck, get the help that you need from the car accident attorneys at Cerritos Legal. Call today at 562-865-9356 for your free consultation.