Children Are At Higher Risk Of Being Injured In Pedestrian AccidentsUtah Legal News
From the time that children take their first steps, they are much more likely to be injured in a pedestrian accident. According to findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every five kids under the age of 15 killed in a vehicle collision was a pedestrian in 2015. This means that children are at greater risk of sustaining serious injuries in a car crash even if they are outside the vehicle. As adults, we can protect our young ones by understanding where and when these incidents take place — and what we can do after a child has been hit by a vehicle.
Preventing Pedestrian Accidents in Utah
Young kids are usually not very familiar with common traffic rules followed by pedestrians. Even if a child has been taught about roadway laws regarding pedestrians, he or she may not be able to understand the possible repercussions of not exercising caution when crossing or playing near the road on a busy day.
This creates risks for drivers as well. Although a motorist may be exercising proper caution behind the wheel, kids can still run into the road very unexpectedly, not allowing for adequate time to stop the vehicle in enough time to prevent injury. If you live in a neighborhood where kids are playing near the road often, you should always keep in mind that following the posted speed in these residential areas will help to protect others and ensure that you have enough room to stop if a pedestrian enters the road. It is the obligation of the motorist to be aware of any potential roadway hazards and act accordingly. If you are a young or inexperienced driver and practice safe driving habits, it could be a helpful way to get cheaper or reduced auto insurance coverage because it shows insurance providers you drive carefully.
Intersections are another place where you should exercise more caution when operating a car. Even if there are stoplight, auto-pedestrian collisions are still very common.
Always keep in mind that just because pedestrians have the right-of-way under law, vehicles will not always be able to see you or stop while you are crossing the road. Always be sure to take precautions at intersections with traffic signals or crosswalks. Never just think that an oncoming vehicle will yield to you just because you choose to cross. Sadly, if you have been injured in a car crash as a pedestrian, these sustained injuries can result in extreme medical expenses that are difficult to afford on any salary.
How Children Are Injured in Pedestrian Accidents
Children and teenagers walk to and from school, to their friend’s homes, or even do chores like walking the dog each day. Children are often very small. This doesn’t only make it hard for the driver to see them, but it also makes him or her liable to suffer severe injuries after being involved in a crash. Sadly, pedestrian collisions that involve children often result in the death of the victims, and when children happen to survive the crash, they will likely suffer permanent and life-changing injuries.
The most typical reasons that children are struck by a vehicle include:
- Backover accidents. Each year, thousands of children are hit by a driver that is coming out of a driveway. These backover accidents may occur because the driver’s mirrors were not adjusted properly, a child unexpectedly ran into the path of the vehicle, or the driver may have just failed to check before backing up. In many of these situations, kids are struck by a relative, family friend, or neighbor.
- Distractions. Pedestrians, as well as drivers, should stay aware of their surroundings, but many are too distracted by their phones or other electronic devices. Kids who are watching videos on a tablet or cellphone could run into the road before it is safe to do so, while motorists could hit a child during the two seconds required to send a text message.
- Drunk driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 15 percent of all deadly pedestrian accidents involve drivers that have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at 0.08 or greater.
- School zone accidents. School zones and neighborhoods located nearby are common locations for child pedestrian crashes, especially right before and after school hours. Drivers who have hit children in school zones usually did so because they failed to obey the posted speed limit, did not properly watch or wait for crossing guards, or did not stop completely at intersections in these areas.
- Afternoon and evening accidents. The hours between 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. are a peak time for pedestrian collisions. However, these hours at not just hazardous for young children. Children in middle school who are walking home after school-related activities and teens who are coming home to dinner after hanging with friends are also vulnerable to being injured in collisions.
- Rural roadways. Kids who are not yet old enough to drive may not understand the rules of the road entirely, such as how to properly judge a car’s speed and distance. This creates a danger of them being hit in areas that do not have sidewalks.
Salt Lake City Area Auto-Pedestrian Collisions
When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, they were vulnerable to sustaining serious injuries.
In the state of Utah, there were 866 pedestrians struck by a vehicle in 2011. Of these pedestrians, 770 were injured and 32 sustained fatal injuries.
The leading cause of pedestrian accidents was the failure to yield the right-of-way, accounting for 33 percent of auto-pedestrian collisions. In some cases, injured pedestrians can contact an experienced Salt Lake City auto-pedestrian crash attorney to regain lost compensation and bring the liable driver to justice after a collision.
The experienced legal team at Siegfried & Jensen believes that no victim should take on the financial burden following a pedestrian accident. Contact us at (801) 845-9000 if you or a loved one have been injured in an auto-pedestrian accident.