According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are the leading cause of death for very young children and those ages 11 to 14, with 4,743 children killed in car accidents in 2012; 22 percent of these cases were pedestrian fatalities. The most common times of the day for child pedestrian accidents are mid-afternoon and morning, respectively, which coincides with the times children are walking to or from school.
Drivers should be aware of the most common scenarios children are likely to be hit by a car:
- Coming out into the street from behind or between parked cars.
- Crossing the street in the middle of the block.
- Running across at intersections, even within the crosswalk and at a green light.
- Getting off school buses.
Younger children are more likely to be injured while playing in the street or being run over in a driveway, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As children get older, their experience makes them less likely to be hit while dashing out into the street, but it is still possible for a child of any age to be hurt in a distracted driving accident. To prevent causing a tragedy, it is imperative for drivers to avoid distractions such as texting and talking on the phone, and to pay attention to their surroundings at all times.
Pedestrian accidents involving children increased in parts of Massachusetts last year, reported NBC Washington, including one involving a 14-year-old boy who was struck while crossing the street and hospitalized with serious head injuries. It can save lives to be aware that children also share the roads while walking to school or the bus stop.