For many children, they are taught safe driving and passenger habits early on in their life, such as the importance of wearing safety belts and the dangers of texting while driving. A report released by the U.S. Department of Transportation indicates teaching children safe habits for walking outside and around vehicles is as beneficial as safe habits for inside a vehicle.
According to the report, 1,043 children 14 and under were killed in car crashes in the United States from 2008-2011, while another 30,000 were injured during that same period of time. Of the fatalities, 85% were a result of non-traffic motor vehicle crashes while 60% of those injured were non-occupants, such as pedestrians or bicyclists. While these numbers present a grim reality, parents can actively prevent accidents by discussing the dangers of moving and parked cars with their children.
Check out our Missouri lawyers discussion regarding a few tips to keep kids safe in and around vehicles.
- Walk around your vehicle. Before entering your vehicle, make a complete circle around it, checking for children. Larger vehicles such as SUVs, trucks, and minivans can make visibility difficult, particularly if smaller children are present. Having an awareness of the proximity of children around your vehicle will make you more prepared for the unexpected.
- Know where your children are. Children are often injured when making an unexpected dash to greet a driver or give their goodbyes. Before moving your vehicle, be certain to know the location of children. Once you have entered the vehicle, have another adult present to wait with children so you can move to a safe distance. Always check your mirrors and back up slowly.
- Teach kids that parked cars can move too. Children are taught at an early age to be cautious around moving vehicles or crossing streets. Add parked cars and vehicles to your lessons on safety precautions. Teach children that parked vehicles can move too, and therefore, they should never play on, in, or around them.
- Talk to kids about parking lot safety. Long before they start driving, children spend a lot of time getting in and out of vehicles, particularly before and after school or when accompanying parents on shopping trips and other errands. Have conversations with your children about parking lot safety. Let them know that just because they see a driver this doesn’t mean the driver can see them. Just like the advice given when children cross streets, teach them to look before they exit a vehicle or step into parking lot traffic.
If you would like further information, call Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C. today at our office in Springfield. Call on our accident attorneys if you or your child has been hit by a reckless or negligent driver – we can help you discover if you have a case.