Pedestrian Accidents Among Teens Are On The Rise
When it comes to our children, safety is typically at the forefront of our minds. Our protective instinct is natural and as parents we want to not only protect them from all of the dangers of this world, but we are naturally inclined to teach them survival and independence which includes teaching them safety. These safety tips include being aware of their surroundings when out walking or playing as well as looking both ways when crossing the street.
Teens Are at The Highest Risk For Pedestrian Injuries
According to an ongoing study by Safe Kids Worldwide teens are at the highest risk for pedestrian accident injuries. “The death rate among older teens is now twice that of younger children.” According to the study the main reason is distraction by cell phone use. Unfortunately it is very easy for children especially teens to get distracted and with texting being so popular as a form of communication, teens can be very distracted when walking close to the road and crossing the street.
There has been a decline in the number of vehicle pedestrian deaths and injuries among younger children since 1995 mainly because of education and safety programs; And safety crossing guards have made crossing the streets at intersections for young children much safer when walking to and from school as their job is to stop traffic to let pedestrians cross the street.
This infographic courtesy www.safekids.org shows a clear visual of pedestrian accident statistics:
Pedestrian Accidents Caused By Distracted Drivers
Another reason for the rise of teen pedestrian accidents and pedestrian accidents in general is distracted drivers. Drivers also text and talk on their cell phones while driving. This puts the driver, other motorists, and pedestrians at risk. Even with California’s new texting and driving laws, motorists still text while driving creating a hazardous sand potentially dangerous situation.
Here are 7 safety tips for Pedestrians:
- Always cross the street in crosswalks where there are traffic signals and stop signs. Pedestrians are more likely to get hit by cars because they are crossing the street in the middle of traffic, not at the intersection and it is hard to judge the speed an automobile is traveling making it hard to judge distance of the vehicle. Vehicle pedestrian deaths happen this way when the pedestrian crosses a highway or freeway or busy surface street.
- Look left, right and left again before crossing the street and keep ears and eye open while crossing. Sometimes drivers will look to the left when turning right, but forget to look to the right and this is another way pedestrians get hit.
- Walk across the street, don’t run, when crossing. If you are running you could fall and get injured that way or get hit by a car if you have fallen into the street.
- If possible walk on sidewalks or paths. This might go against what you were taught, but if there is not a sidewalk or walking path then it is best to walk facing traffic and stay as far to the left as possible.
- Many people like to wear headphones when walking, jogging, or biking. Remove them when walking or riding along the road where there is not a sidewalk or path and remove them when crossing the street.
- Texting or talking on the phone is common nowadays. Walking and texting is just as dangerous as driving and texting. So, it is best to stop walking if you need to make a phone call or text and stand in a safe area away from the road.
- If you are crossing the street at an intersection where there is a stop sign. Do not assume that the motorist sees you. Drivers get distracted and do not always look all ways before going. Try to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you before you cross the street.
- If walking or riding a bike at night wear brightly colored clothing or reflective clothing. Bicycles should have reflectors on them and/or a headlight for very dark streets.
In the state of California pedestrians have the right of way so give them the right of way. Some intersections do not have stop signs or lights, but will have yellow crossing lights on the road going across all lanes that will blink to alert motorists that a pedestrian needs to cross the street. Be alert in school zones and residential neighborhoods as children may be walking or playing close to the street. In residential neighborhoods children sometimes will run into the street to get a ball, etc. so slow down and be aware.
The best way to avoid a pedestrian accident is to abide by the laws that pertain to motorists and pedestrians as well as common sense. This not only could save your life, it could save you the time, pain and stress of a personal injury lawsuit.
If you have been the victim of a pedestrian accident in California and you believe the other party was at fault, it is in your best interest to talk to an accident injury attorney. Our personal injury lawyers in Orange County have been settling cases for more than 30 years and we specialize in helping victims of vehicle pedestrian accidents in Orange County and all of Southern California.
Call us today at 1-800-561-4887 for a Free, Confidential, No-Obligation Case Consultation. Our Bisnar | Chase Pedestrian Accident Attorneys look forward to answering your questions and assisting you with your case.