Young Pedestrians at High Risk for Auto Collisions in Independence, Missouri and Nationwide

1030590_happy_augusto_with_his_bike_and_water_gun_4.jpgOur Independence, Missouri car accident attorneys would like to ask parents and caregivers to talk with their children about the dangers of playing near moving cars. We recognize that young students use various modes of transportation to get to and from school each day, and it is those who walk or ride a bike to school that may be most likely to get hit by a vehicle. Parents are urged to read on and speak with their young children about the dangers that accompany their trip to and from school.

Consider these incidents:

• Last summer, a little girl was sent to Children's Hospital in St. Louis for more than a week (and was forced to undergo skin grafts on her foot) after being the victim of a hit and run accident in Sikeston, Missouri. She was struck by a truck on East Street as she and a babysitter left a convenience store. The woman who hit the child has been since located and charged.

• A 15 year-old was hit by a car in Middleton, Connecticut last week: when leaving school, the teen stepped between two buses and into the path of an oncoming Volkswagon Jetta. Another teen suffered minor injuries when he fell to the ground to avoid being hit by the car.

• In Montrose, Minnesota, a 7 year-old boy was killed after being struck by a car while waiting for the school bus. On February 11, a driver who had just finished a night shift ran a red light, hit the boy, and then crashed his vehicle. The driver was also killed.

If your child walks to school, share the following safety tips, from the National Safety Council:

• Make sure that every child is accompanied by at least one responsible adult.

• Always walk on a sidewalk if it's available.

• If there isn't a sidewalk available, make sure that you walk facing oncoming traffic.

• Make sure that you always cross the street at either a street corner or at an intersection.

• Children 10-years-old or younger should never cross the street without an adult.

• Make sure that you look both ways for oncoming cars before stepping off the curb to cross the street.

• Continue to look left and right as you cross the street.

• Always walk. Don't run when crossing streets.

• Never run out in front of a parked car. If another car is coming, they won't be able to see you.

If your child is riding a bike to school, share the following safety tips:

• Make sure they always ride while wearing a helmet.

• Make sure that their helmet fits low on their forehead. Only two fingers should fit between the helmet and their eyebrows.

• Always ride on the right side of the road, in a single file line and in the same direction as traffic.

• Always come to a complete stop before crossing the street.

• Do not cross until drivers give a signal to do so.

• Wear bright colors when riding a bike.

• Never ride in the evening without an adult.

• Install a light on the front of your bike and make sure the back of your bike has a red reflector on it.

Motorists need to do their part to protect our child pedestrians as well. These young travelers are most frequently the victims in car-pedestrian collisions. Generally, pedestrians always have the right-of-way at an intersection, but regardless of the rules you should exercise focus, alertness care and caution to avoid hitting a pedestrian.

Drivers are asked to be cautious especially in school zones. Don't stop your vehicle over the white lines of a crosswalk and abide by all flashing signals and school or police crossing guards.

According to the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation children are some the least predictable pedestrians. They're also the most difficult to see. Always be on the lookout for these young students, especially near schools, residential areas, parks and playgrounds.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Independence,, Liberty, Lee's Summit, or elsewhere in the Kansas City metropolitan area, contact the Missouri personal injury lawyers at Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C. for a free initial consultation. Call 1-888-777-AUTO.

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