Getting ready for back to school can quickly devolve into a whirlwind of stress. Finding out which teacher your children will have, checking supply lists, and trying to track down the one last box of the specific brand of pencil or art supply can be a harrowing experience. But despite all the hubbub, parents would be well-served to find time to squeeze in evaluating the walking path their child will take to and from school.
When evaluating the best route for the child to take, parents should pay attention to:
- Crosswalks and other pedestrian friendly signage
- Heavier and lower traffic areas
- Attractive nuisances
Crosswalks drastically increase the safety of crossing streets, particularly more heavily trafficked ones. Looking for signs that indicate children in the area and advising drivers to pay attention are also a good indication that the neighborhood takes safety seriously. Clear walk and do not walk signals on traffic lights are also a must.
Heavier and lower traffic areas each come with their own advantages. Heavy traffic is more eyes to help protect children against intrusion of strangers or other unsafe people into their lives, but can also increase the risk of a pedestrian-car accident. Parents should evaluate the speed of traffic, as speeders are less likely to brake in time. Lower traffic areas are less likely to have cars in the area that might hit a child, but also may indicate less attentive drivers who are distracted by their phones and paying less attention due to less traffic.
Attractive nuisances can be things like playgrounds or other places that a child might stop off instead of coming straight home. This can include restaurants or markets that a kid might be interested in. Parents should also keep an eye out for potentially dangerous “shortcuts” to warn children against.
Unfortunately, all the safety training in the world, even coupled with a well-defined and safe path, cannot protect children from dangerous drivers. If someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, it is important to hold the driver accountable for their actions. Please contact a qualified attorney about your case.