As parents, we find that the safety of our children is our recurring obsession and nightmare. High on energy, our little people are often low on attention and appreciation for danger. We’ve got to repeatedly teach them safety rules, especially in one of the most perilous areas many run into every day—crossing the street.
Pretty sure your one-time speech about “stop, look, and listen” worked? Consider this, as reported in another article in our site: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2015, over 20% of children 14 and younger killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians. These fatalities most often occur after school, in broad daylight. Worse, South Carolina remains a deadly state for pedestrians, according to a 2019 study.
Tips To Keep Your Children Safe in Traffic
The key is teaching, teaching, teaching. NHTSA reports children should be instructed to cross the street by ALWAYS doing this:
- Cross at the corner or at an intersection. This is where drivers expect to see children. Teach your kids always to assume drivers can’t see them anywhere else.
- Before crossing, stop at the edge of parked cars, the curb, or other vehicles to confirm all cars are stopped and none are coming.
- Look and listen for signs that a car is about to move. Some signals include rear lights, exhaust smoke, the sound of a motor, or seeing wheels turning.
- As you cross, look LEFT–RIGHT–LEFT AGAIN for moving cars. You look left twice because that’s where a car will probably be closest.
- Cross when clear, and keep looking left and right. Cars move fast, and one could pop up unexpectedly even if the way was clear when you started.
- Walk into the street—don’t run or dart. Moving fast into the street makes you a lot more likely to get hit. We can replace your basketball if it gets run over. We can’t replace you.
- Walk alertly; use your eyes and your ears to increase your safety.
The best way to teach your children is to show them how to do this. Take a walk around your neighborhood and use real life to illustrate how you expect them to keep themselves safe. It’s literally a life lesson that can truly save their lives.
If Your Child Becomes a Victim, He or She May Have Rights
Sometimes all the teaching in the world won’t save a child from an irresponsible driver. If your child was doing all she can to stay safe but still falls victim to a crash, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer to find out about your child’s rights and whether the child’s medical bills and other compensation can be paid by the at-fault driver or even your own coverage. Children’s settlements require court involvement and can get complicated, because our state takes protecting children’s rights to their settlements seriously.
If this speaks to you, feel free to contact us by email or a live chat. You can always call us at (888) 230-1841 or (864) 582-0416 to set up a free, no-obligation strategy session with our car accident attorney.