Back to school season has arrived in Laredo, which means there are likely to be lots more kids on the roads. With Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning us that children are one of the most likely demographic groups to be hurt or killed in pedestrian crashes, drivers and parents need to be aware of the risks during back-to-school season. One in five kids who died in 2013 traffic accidents were pedestrians, so protecting young people from these types of crashes during back-to-school season is of utmost importance.
Back to School Pedestrian Accident Risks in Laredo
Children are at greater risk of being involved in pedestrian accidents for lots of reasons, and they are also more likely to be seriously hurt when a crash happens as compared to adults.
Many kids have difficulty crossing the road safely, even if they've been taught to wait before crossing the street. Kids may cross without looking or could step out in between parked cars, surprising drivers who may not be able to stop on time. Parents need to talk with kids about road safety, especially if children will be riding their bicycles or walking to and from school.
Drivers also have obligations, including watching for children who come into the road unexpectedly. Drivers need to be especially vigilant as Laredo children go back to school, as there will be many more kids on the road. Drivers must obey speed limits in school zones and residential areas. Going more slowly allows drivers to spot children in time to avoid hitting them. Slower speed pedestrian accidents are also far less likely to be deadly than crashes happening at higher speeds, according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
In addition to traveling the speed limit, drivers need to make sure they are paying attention at all times behind the wheel, and not allowing themselves to be distracted by their phones, GPS devices, or other passengers. Kids can be harder to see than adult pedestrians, so drivers who are not vigilant could miss out on seeing a young child crossing the road. Driving while drowsy or intoxicated also affects the ability of a driver to see children who are walking and to stop in time to avoid striking them.
Finally, drivers need to follow all road safety laws, including laws requiring them to stop for school buses which have flashing lights on and their stop arm extended. Kids can be hurt in pedestrian accidents getting onto and off the school bus each year, so motorists need to avoid engaging in behavior which increases this risk.
If drivers are careful to watch for children and if parents talk with their kids about pedestrian safety during back to school season, hopefully crashes can be avoided as kids start to head back to class.