Beginning of school season increases danger for child pedestrians

Children are more at risk of being hit by a car after school has started, while walking to and from school or the bus stop.

School is soon to start for most children across the country. Many of those going to school in Chicago will walk to and from their schools or bus stops. While walking can be good exercise for children, it also presents risks when there is nearby traffic. Many other parents will drive their children to school, which increases the numbers of cars on the road. As the weather grows colder and it starts to rain, snow or get foggy, drivers will also have to contend with decreased visibility. All of these factors may combine to make the hours before and after school a dangerous time for pedestrians, especially children.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 125 pedestrians in Illinois lost their lives in accidents in 2013. Some of these accidents may have included children who were hit while walking to school.

Common pedestrian dangers faced by children

Most children who are hit by cars are struck at non-intersection locations, states SafeKids.org. Teenagers are twice as likely to be killed in pedestrian accidents as younger children, and made up half of injuries in child pedestrian accidents throughout the country during the last five years.

The National Safety Council states that the areas surrounding schools are the most common places for children to be hit by cars. It is not uncommon for drivers to fail to slow down in school zones, to illegally pass a bus stopped to let children on or off or to fail to stop for a crossing guard helping children cross the street. Children may also be struck by a bus driver who does not see them or is unable to stop in time for a child dashing across the street.

Serious pedestrian injuries

The injuries that children face in a pedestrian accident may be severe, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. They most often include the following:

  • Head trauma
  • Fractured bones, especially to the extremities
  • Pelvic injuries
  • Internal bleeding

It can be emotionally and financially devastating for parents when a child is in an accident, whether they have lost a loved one or if there are injuries.

An accident from February of last year showed just how quickly a child pedestrian accident can occur. The Chicago Tribune reported that a 9-year-old boy from Park Ridge was hit by a car while crossing a street near his school. The driver was at a stop sign and had started turning left when the child was hit. Fortunately, the child only suffered a knee injury. The driver received a citation for failing to yield to a pedestrian.

Your medical expenses and other losses may quickly add up after your child is involved in a pedestrian accident. If the driver was found to be at fault, you may be eligible for compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to discuss your options with you.