Summer vacation is right around the corner, which means kids playing outside, walking to friends’ houses, and biking around town. Unfortunately, as we discussed previously, children in Luzerne County are at a significantly higher risk of being struck by cars. That’s why we’ve put together this guide explaining what every parent must know about street safety.
When Are Children Injured?
In Luzerne County, playing in the street and crossings factor into about 60% of pedestrian crashes. Shockingly, the majority of these incidents (60%) occur in broad daylight.
On the other hand, most crossing fatalities (70%) occur at “non-intersections,” usually in residential areas. These include places where the road intersects with the sidewalk, like driveways and parking lot entrances. For example, someone backing out of their driveway too quickly might hit a pedestrian on the sidewalk.
At the same time, many children playing outside tend to run after rolling balls or ride their bikes into the street without looking. For that reason, drivers must be especially cautious when there are children nearby, especially in residential areas. When children are at play, you must be extra vigilant scanning for bikes and balls wherever they might appear.
What Can You Do About It?
As a parent, you must educate your child about street safety. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Closely supervise very young children and never let them step into the street.
Teach school-age children to always stop before stepping into the road or crossing a “non-intersection” and look left, right, then left again before continuing.
Teach your child to continue looking both ways while crossing the street.
When playing in residential areas, make sure your child never steps onto the street from an obscured area, like from behind a tree or between two cars.
When playing at night or near dusk, make sure your child is more visible by avoiding dark-colored clothing.
Set a designated time that your child should come inside (such as when the street lights turn on). This can effectively help to avoid nighttime pedestrian crashes, which tend to be more severe.
By teaching your child road safety at an early age, you give them the tools needed to exercise good judgment and prevent car accidents. However, if your child is ever struck by a car, it’s crucial you hold the driver accountable for their negligence.