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Who's at risk for a pedestrian accident?

Children are some of the most at-risk individuals when it comes to pedestrian accidents. Children may not fully understand the rules of the road and could make errors that lead to crashes. It's a driver's responsibility to be safe around children; it's their burden to make sure that children stay safe around traffic.

Unintentional pedestrian injuries are common among children between the ages of 5 and 19. In fact, they are the fifth-leading cause of death by injury. Teenagers are at a particularly high risk, being twice as likely to get hit and killed than children of a younger age.

Fortunately, there are some things parents can do to help keep their children safe. First, if a child is 10 or younger, he or she should only cross the street with his or her parents present. Until a child reaches 10 or 11 years of age, he or she may not be able to accurately judge the speed of an oncoming vehicle or tell how far away it is.

Another thing to do is to make sure your child always uses sidewalks instead of walking in the road. If there is no sidewalk, remind your child that he or she should walk against traffic, not with the flow of traffic. This helps him or her see approaching vehicles and get out of the way if necessary.

Finally, remember that children often repeat and do what they see. If you are active and use safe techniques to cross the road or to stay safe around traffic, then your child will remember and use those techniques as well. If you or your child is hit despite following these tips, then you may have a strong standing for a case against the driver.

Source: Safe Kids Worldwide, "Pedestrian Safety," accessed Jan. 18, 2018

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