Back to School Safety: Teaching Children to Be Defensive Pedestrians

August 30, 2014

As Ohio motor vehicle accident attorneys, the lawyers of Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA have represented many pedestrians who were struck and injured by careless drivers.  In urban and rural environments alike, pedestrians of any age are always at risk.  But with school starting back up, it is particularly important that parents talk to their children about defensive pedestrians safety, as kids walking to, from, or around school are frequently injured in motor vehicle crashes.

An Anecdote—Two Near Misses

The inspiration for this post comes not from my experience as a Cleveland pedestrian injury attorney, but as a Cleveland resident.  While driving home recently, I saw a neighborhood child dart into the road from behind a street-parked moving van.  Fortunately, I know that many children live and play on this street.  My defensive driving and low speed gave me sufficient time to stop, and the child went on her way.  A motorist who was not so familiar with the area may not have been driving so cautiously.

Flash forward to this week.  Once again, I was driving through the neighborhood and I saw the very same child walking home from school.  Though the first intersection near the school has a crossing guard on duty, the next intersection (where I saw the child) does not.  I was happy to see that the child paused and looked both ways at the intersection.  But, as she began to cross, I was horrified when another vehicle approached the intersection and, rolling through the stop, and made a right turn through the crosswalk, narrowly missing the girl.

The Takeaway—It is Never Too Early to Teach Defensive Safety

Within the span of three weeks, I saw the same child narrowly avoid two pedestrian accidents—one caused by her own inattention, and one caused by a driver’s carelessness.  I can think of no better example of why parents need to not only teach their children to respect the rules of the road, but to learn “defensive” walking.

As drivers, we know that we must obey traffic laws, but we also know that we cannot always rely on other motorists to obey the law.  We drive defensively to protect ourselves against these other negligent drivers.  Our children should follow the same tack when they are on the road as defensive pedestrians.  Teaching children to respect traffic safety, look both ways, stay on the sidewalk, etc. is of the utmost importance, but teaching them to err on the side of caution when encountering other motorists may be the difference between a near miss and a severe personal injury.

Cleveland, Ohio Pedestrian Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, whether as a pedestrian, passenger, or driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  Call the Cleveland car accident lawyers at Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA for a free telephone consultation.

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