Families looking for ways to get their children more active had a reason to celebrate last month – October was the official “walk to school month” in the state of Missouri. Even though walk to school month is over, it is never too late for a pedestrian safety lesson. On average, over 300 Americans are injured every day in pedestrian accidents involving cars.
Adults and children alike can help prevent these accidents by following these simple pedestrian safety tips:
- Whenever possible, cross at a corner or intersection so you are more visible to motorists. Nearly three-fourths of fatal pedestrian accidents involve pedestrians who aren’t crossing at a recognized intersection.
- Look both ways before your cross, and keep looking while you cross the street.
- Move deliberately through the crosswalk, but do not run or you could trip and fall.
- If possible, walk on a sidewalk. If you must walk on the street, walk so that you are facing oncoming traffic.
It is even more important to be vigilant if you are walking while it is dark out. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 70 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents take place at night. Pedestrians are advised to carry a flashlight and wear light-colored or reflective clothing if walking at dusk or in the dark.
Parents Can Help Kids Stay Safe
Walking to school can be a very safe and healthy activity for kids, so long as parents take the proper precautions. Parents should evaluate their neighborhood and determine the safest routes to and from school. Then, they should discuss the rules of walking to school with their children, including a discussion about the consequences that could occur if the rules are not followed.
Parents should accompany their children for the first few times. Children should only be allowed to walk alone after they can remember their route and follow all safety rules.
If the worst happens and you or a loved one is injured in a pedestrian accident, know that you have rights. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your options for recovery.