Childhood obesity is a national problem, and many pediatricians and health experts recommend daily activity – such as walking to and from school – to help children stay fit. However, many parents are concerned about letting their children bike or walk to school because they worry that their children will be injured en route. Luckily, there are many ways that parents can ensure that their kids stay are less at risk of pedestrian accidents in Davie and other communities:
1) Choose walking routes to and from school carefully. Discuss the routes your children will take to and from school. Look for routes that have less road traffic, where possible, but are still highly visible and not through secluded areas. Walk the route with your child a few times and discuss any potential dangers – such as busy intersections – with your children.
2) Encourage children to walk together. Children who walk together can look out for each other and can alert adults if one of them is injured. Groups of children may also be more visible to motorists and are less likely to be approached by strangers.
3) Encourage your city to create a safer pedestrian environment. A research study out of Columbia University in New York recently found that when New York City added traffic lights, pedestrian signals and speed bumps to streets near schools, there were fewer pedestrian accidents involving children walking to and from school. Traffic control measures such as pedestrian signs and speed bumps can help make walking safer in your community, as well.
4) Teach your children the rules of pedestrian safety early on. Children should know to look both ways before they cross the street and to make eye contact with motorists. Children should not be allowed to walk to school alone if they do not know the basics of walking safely and obeying traffic rules.
5) Make sure your children know the dangers of distracted walking. Distracted walkers are more likely to be injured in trip and fall or slip and fall accidents in Davie and other communities because they are not looking where they are going. They are also more likely to walk in front of traffic or be involved in a pedestrian accident because they may not notice the visual and auditory clues around them. Make sure your children are not texting or listening to music through headphones as they walk to school.
6) If your child decides to bike to school, make sure your child has a good helmet and the bicycling skills needed to get to and from school safely. Many bicyclists who sustain head injuries in Davie and other South Florida communities were not wearing a helmet at the time of their accident. Only allow your child to bike to and from school if they are willing to wear a helmet on every trip and know how to get to and from school safely.
If your child is injured in a pedestrian accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group to arrange for a free consultation to discuss your situation. You may be entitled to compensation that can help pay for medical care for your child, tutoring, and other costs associated with the injury.