Child Pedestrians Face Special Risks on AZ Roads
Arizona is a great place to get out and take in the sights and activities while walking. But pedestrians need to take extra caution, as new statistics reveal just how dangerous the state is for those on foot. Children are particularly susceptible to being involved in a pedestrian accident, so teach them road safety as soon as possible!
The Stats on Arizona’s Pedestrians
According to a special report written by the Governors Highway Safety Association, Arizona has the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities per resident. That same report also indicated the number of pedestrian deaths rose from 11% to 15% between the years of 2006 and 2015.
This means pedestrians in Arizona are more likely to be hit by a car than in any other state. It also means when a pedestrian is in a collision, it is more likely to be fatal.
The Arizona Department of Transportation also collects data on Arizona crashes, including those involving pedestrians. According to AZDOT, there were 1,637 accidents involving pedestrians in 2016 alone—197 pedestrians were killed, while 1,448 sustained injuries.
Children Are at Greater Risk
Walking is particularly risky for children, for a number of reasons.
One is that children do not fully understand the rules of the road, especially if they are younger. They may walk across a street without looking to ensure there are no cars. They may have a false sense of security if they are walking in a group. Groups can also be distracting, and cause children not to pay attention to the situation around them.
In addition, a child’s height may prevent him from seeing around other people and objects, and prevent him from seeing cars. Also, due to children’s size, it is sometimes more difficult for drivers to see them. If a vehicle collides with a child, the head and other sensitive areas of a child’s body are particularly vulnerable to injury.
Of course, the biggest reason children are so often involved in pedestrian accidents is because walking is their main form of transportation. Being unable to drive, children often have to walk to school, to the park, and other places they need to go.
Safety Tips When Walking with Children
Whether you’re a parent, a teacher, a relative, or a babysitter, you should always explain the rules of the road to children before they head out. Walk them through traffic lights, signs, crosswalks, and the importance of looking both ways before crossing a road. You should also set a good example whenever you’re out walking with a child.
- Practice stop, look, and listen before crossing the road.
- Don’t use your phone while moving.
- Talk to your kids about vehicles of different sizes, and discuss how quickly vehicles are traveling.
During the walk, it’s also a good idea for an adult to bend down to a child’s height. This way, you can better understand what children can see… and what they can’t. Practice walking on quieter roads, and let your kids have full control over the decisions they make, under your supervision. After you feel comfortable, you can allow your children to walk alone, if age appropriate, or with a group of friends.
You Can’t Prevent Every Pedestrian Accident
If your child has been injured in a pedestrian accident, he or she probably has serious injuries. These injuries can reduce a person’s quality of life, and can be costly to treat. There may be compensation available if you file a claim against the driver who hit your child.
Don’t try to do this alone, though, as dealing with insurance companies can be difficult. If you have been injured, contact The Husband and Wife Law Team at (602) 267-1280. Our Phoenix child injury lawyers will review your case in a free consultation.