Unfortunately, children are often the victims of pedestrian accidents that lead to injury or even death in Washington State. Just this month, a young boy was rushed to a Seattle hospital after being hit by a drunk driver just yards from his house.
Why are children often the victims of pedestrian accidents? First of all, many children are too young to understand vital rules of the road. Very young children may not understand the dangers of approaching cars, while toddlers and elementary school children may forget to look both ways, dart into the street after an object, or enter the street from behind an object. Children can be impulsive, unaware of their surroundings, and distracted - even more importantly, they may have trouble judging the speed of vehicles or suffer from underdeveloped depth perception.
According to Safe Kids, pedestrian injury remains the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 5 to 14, with around 600 children dying each year in fatal pedestrian accidents. One of the other main reasons for child pedestrian deaths? Many parents overestimate their children's safety knowledge and pedestrian skills.
Share these pedestrian tips with your children:
· Don't cross the street without an adult if you are under ten years old.
· Stop at the curb and look both ways before crossing the street.
· Walk facing traffic when walking down the street.
· Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street in front of them.
· Walk across the street - don't run!
· Don't play in the street or in parking lots.
· Don't walk on the street at night.
· When possible, cross the street at a designated crosswalk.
· Don't run into the street after a toy.
· If possible, hold an adult's hand while crossing the street.