Child Pedestrian Accidents
There has been an alarming increase in pedestrian fatalities in recent years. One study, for instance, published by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) revealed that 2021 saw the most pedestrian deaths in the U.S. in nearly 40 years. Of the individuals who are particularly at risk of being involved in deadly pedestrian accidents are children under the age of 15 years old. To minimize these risks, it’s important for parents to be educated on child pedestrian accidents, how they can be avoided, and what to do in the event that their child is involved in such a collision.
Why Child Pedestrian Accidents Occur
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2020, as many as one in five children, or a little over 20 percent of children under the age of 15 years old who were killed in crashes were pedestrians. Children have a number of characteristics that make them uniquely vulnerable to involvement in a pedestrian accident, such as:
- A smaller stature, which makes them more difficult for drivers to see, especially in areas where there are likely to be children, such as school zones, driveways, in the streets of residential neighborhoods, in and around parking lots, and near parks and playgrounds and also makes them more prone to serious injuries;
- Poor judgment, which makes children less able to recognize a traffic threats based on the speed or distance of car, which in turn can be attributed to a lack of brain development; and
- A desire for independence, with children wanting to do more and more things on their own as they grow up, which often involves walking by themselves.
Unfortunately, all of these characteristics make it more likely that a child will be involved and seriously injured in a pedestrian accident.
Liability for Child Pedestrian Accidents
Drivers must be aware of their surroundings at all times, especially when driving in areas where children are commonly present. Motorists who fail to fulfill this legal obligation can be held liable if their actions were negligent or reckless. Evidence of speeding, especially in a school zone, driving while distracted, or a failure to yield the right-of-way can all be used as evidence of a driver’s failure to use the care required by law. If able to provide this evidence, injured parties could recover compensation for their medical bills, which may be extensive in cases where the victim is a child. In some tragic cases, the child may even suffer from permanent disability and require long-term care, or even pass away from his or her injuries, in which case, the child’s surviving relatives could file a wrongful death claim on the child’s behalf.
Experienced Florida Car Accident Attorneys
While there are precautions that parents can take to keep their children safe, it’s also not always possible to account for other people’s bad choices. If your own child was injured in a pedestrian accident, contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers at Boone & Davis for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your child’s injuries.