Walking to School: Keeping Our Kids Out of Harm’s Way

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Pedestrian accidents amounted to 173 deaths in New York in 2013. Sadly, some of those deaths were related to school-aged children, in particular those from kindergarten through 8th grade. No matter how much we teach our children to pay attention and look both ways when crossing the road, sometimes there are distractions or unsafe measures that put them in the way of an oncoming vehicle. Conditions like heavy traffic areas, extreme weather conditions, snow pileup or icy sidewalks can all lead to injuries among school-aged children, particularly when it comes to intersections with no lights or crossing guards.

Children want to develop their independence. They enjoy walking to school and being with their friends. We try to tell them the right way to cross the street, when and how, and when not to take chances with oncoming traffic. Some children will have to walk to school regardless of the circumstances and that brings all sorts of obstacles along the way. What are some things you can do to protect your child who walks to school from being a victim in a pedestrian accident?

  • Make sure they have the proper clothing and boots. If there is a lot of ice, they need shoes that will protect and grip to prevent slipping and falling in the way of oncoming cars.
  • Be sure they know where to cross at times when there is a crossing guard. While not every intersection or crosswalk can have a crossing guard, having one present is just a bit more added protection and security for our kids.
  • Instruct them to cross only in crosswalks, or areas designated to cross near their schools.
  • Make sure they have a “no cell or texting” rule while they are walking. As adults, we know how easy it is to become distracted when we are walking and talking. Kids have a much shorter attention span.
  • Be sure they look both ways, and then look again before crossing the road.
  • Ask them not to run across the road. Even more dangerous is if they trip while running to avoid an oncoming car. By then it will be too late.

Pedestrian and car accidents are horrific when they involve someone we love. Showing your child the best way for self-protection is the best assurance to keep you worry-free. If your child has been injured or died because of a pedestrian accident, having a firm of renowned attorneys on your side to settle will help ease the process of the loss you are facing.