As our children grow, they want to take on more and more responsibility. Often, the first few steps into young adulthood occur around the house, as we give our children chores to do and perhaps provide them with an allowance. But as the months pass, our children seek more and more responsibilities outside the house. One of the privileges often sought by children is being allowed to walk to school.
Just thinking about letting a child out of our sight for the first time can cause a parent serious emotional distress. But if you do decide to let your child walk to school, there are things you can do to decrease the chances of anything terrible happening. These things include:
- Determining the safest route your child can take
- Trying to find other kids in the neighborhood to accompany your child
- Making sure your child’s safety skills are up to snuff, including recognizing traffic signals, signs, and remembering to look both ways before crossing the street
- Walking with your child at first, and then following behind them, until you are certain they are doing everything they are supposed to be doing
- Talking to your children about stranger danger
Sadly, following these instructions is no guarantee of safety. One of the most likely dangers a child faces walking to school is being hit by a car, and all too often the child has looked both ways and followed all traffic signals. There are many dangerous drivers on the road, and just because your child is paying attention doesn’t mean the person behind the wheel is.
If you or your child has suffered an accident as a pedestrian, it is important that you contact a qualified attorney. Too many drivers are completely indifferent to the safety of pedestrians, and too many pedestrians are injured or even killed due to driver negligence. Only an experienced lawyer can guide you through the process of holding the guilty to account, and can help you on the road to healing.