These Measures Can Reduce Pedestrian Accident Rates
Every year, 100 child pedestrians die in car accidents within school zones, as experienced pedestrian accident lawyers know. Another 25,000 children are seriously injured because of car drivers who did not obey pedestrian laws. According to a study, one in six people driving in school zones hit children because of distracted driving.
This figure makes up around 17% of drivers putting our kids at risk. But what can we do to improve the safety of our children when they are walking in the vicinity of the school? Below are three major solutions with four key focus areas—children, drivers, physical environment, and social environment.
The first step to improving pedestrian safety is to educate people. We should not only ask ourselves what we can do to help children understand the dangers of walking along sidewalks, but also create education materials for adults, drivers, and enforcement groups to ensure that we are all operating under the same standards and that we all have the same safety expectations.
Children—We know that they only focus on things that they find interesting and they will run around without care. Without proper guidance, they will not know the risks. We need to continually educate children through classroom training and drills to ensure maximum retention of what they learned about traffic hazards.
Drivers—They need to participate in campaigns that promote driving safely, always stopping at the pedestrian crossing, and slowing down in high-density school areas. They need to join classes, especially if they drive in the area of the school on a frequent basis.
Physical Environment—It is of great value to put up posters reminding everybody that children are crossing in this area. Better yet, the government must put up billboards or large road signs indicating to the driver that he is approaching a high-density school zone area.
Social Environment—Projects that involve the community will change the landscape of traffic situations. If the community would participate in distributing flyers and organizing group talks, it will help improve child pedestrian safety.
After educating people, there is a need to enforce laws to ensure that people adhere to them. Without appropriate sanction, drivers and children will not respect these safety precautions.
Children—The children must receive advice and discipline to help eliminate bad behavior. Detention and classroom training reinforcement are two of the most common approaches to curbing bad child behavior.
Drivers—The local police can help issue tickets to drivers. According to pedestrian accident lawyers, in some communities, they send notes to drivers reminding them to slow down when approaching a school zone. In others, safety patrols monitor risky area, forcing drivers to come to a full stop at crossings.
Social Environment—In some cities, government institutions support a Walk to School Day activity where parents walk their children to school. This activity allows them to educate not only their children but their community, too.
In some schools, they implement programs like School Safety Patrol. This program gets teens involved in the effort by giving them the responsibility to guide children when crossing the street.
Once the two steps above are complete, it is imperative for the community leaders to do something about the environment and change it to a more pedestrian-friendly one. Below are some of the most effective methods to ensure that the physical environment around the school are conducive towards pedestrian safety.
Sidewalks—Some roads do not have sidewalks. Some do. As a result, children are sometimes forced to walk along the side of the road, which can be dangerous. The government must build sidewalks and sidewalk links that separate car drivers from pedestrians. If possible, barriers must be put in place to further decrease the risks of accidents.
Adding pedestrians—Children, including adults, cross anywhere for lack of appropriate pedestrian lanes. Car drivers, on the other hand, do not know whether an area is a crossing area or not. Adding proper pedestrian lanes, and making sure they have visible zebra-stripe painting, will create an organized traffic system around your school. Children will know where to cross, and drivers will know that they are approaching a pedestrian area.
Technology—There must be traffic lights at intersections near the school. Without traffic lights, not all drivers will give the right-of-way and some children may find themselves sandwiched in a situation like this.
Today, there are new traffic lights that can detect the presence of pedestrians. Once the sensor detects that there are people still crossing the street, it will extend the green light for walking. Some traffic signals also have leading phases. These are traffic lights that provide an advanced go signal for pedestrians while delaying that of the drivers’.
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If your child has been injured in an accident due to a negligent driver, contact the experienced pedestrian accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm for immediate legal assistance. You and your child may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.