Many children walk to and from school each day, usually without incident. While walking to school is a great source of exercise and often provides children additional time to socialize with friends, it also exposes them to a risk of serious injury. In a large city like Atlanta, children who walk to school often walk along relatively busy roads and are required to cross intersections to get to their destination. As a result, they run a risk of being involved in accidents with motor vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the 69,000 pedestrians who were injured in 2011, 11,000 of them were aged 14 or younger. When pedestrians are involved in traffic accidents, the injuries that they sustain can be extremely serious. In many cases, Georgia tort law entitles the victims of pedestrian accidents to significant recovery. It is important, therefore, for victims to discuss their options with an Atlanta personal injury lawyer in order to determine whether they have a legal claim.
Fortunately, there are many steps that both parents and children can take to minimize their risk of being involve their risk of being involved in an accident and improve pedestrian safety. These include the following:
Wear brightly colored clothing in order to increase your visibility to drivers. In addition, if you are walking when it is dark out, carry a flashlight or wear reflective clothing.
Look for traffic every time you approach a driveway or an intersection. It is also important to look for drivers who may be sitting in parked cars getting ready to start moving.
Always obey traffic signals and signs. In addition, always listen to the directions provided by any crossing guards along your route.
When crossing the street, always stop at the curb or edge of the street. First look to the left, right, left, and then in front of you and behind you to see whether there is oncoming traffic. If there is not, start crossing the street, but keep looking for traffic until you have reached the other side. Finally, make sure that you walk, rather than run, across the street.
Another important aspect of walking safely to school is choosing the safest route possible. Parents should determine this route and walk it several times with their child prior to allowing him or her to walk to school without an adult. Things to look for when choosing the safest route include the following:
Choose areas where the sidewalks or walkways are separated from the road. If there are no designated areas for pedestrians, teach your child to walk as far away from traffic as possible, and when feasible, walk facing traffic.
Limit the number of times your child needs to cross the street.
Avoid crossing particularly busy streets or those with higher speed limits.
Contact an Atlanta pedestrian attorney today to schedule a free consultation
In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one is involved in a pedestrian accident, you should consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Atlanta personal injury lawyers, call Goldstein Hayes & Lina today at (888) 425-6070.