Risk of pedestrian and bike accidents can increase with start of school

Children are among those most at risk of being in a pedestrian accident, and this risk may increase now that school has started.

There can hardly be a worse nightmare for a parent than losing a child. Tragically, it is all too common for children in Connecticut to be seriously injured or killed in a car accident or while walking or riding their bikes. With the start of the school year, many children across the state will be at risk of being hit by cars as they walk or bike to and from school.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thousands of lives are lost each year in pedestrian accidents. In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed in the U.S. - 36 of these were in Connecticut, while an additional four people were killed in the state while riding bicycles. Children are among those most likely to be in a pedestrian or bicycle crash, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Suffield boy killed by truck while riding bike

This point was tragically highlighted during a July accident involving a 12-year-old boy and a box truck. While riding his bicycle with friends near his middle school in Suffield, the boy stopped to check a flat tire and was struck by the truck, reported NBC Connecticut. He later died at the hospital.

Numerous communities in Connecticut and throughout the country have recognized the need for providing safer places for people to walk and bike near traffic. However, road improvements cannot entirely prevent accidents. Areas that are especially dangerous include major metropolitan streets and rural roadways with high speed limits that are not developed for walking, says Smart Growth America.

Factors that increase the risk of pedestrian and bicycle accidents

There are a number of common scenarios that cause the most risk for pedestrian and bicycle crashes, even if they are following road and safety rules. These include:

  • Times of the day or evening when light is dim or the sun causes a glare.
  • Busy intersections, even on a green light or within a crosswalk.
  • Areas where vehicles park, especially a parking lot or along a sidewalk.
  • Driveways and neighborhoods where children frequently play or cross the street.
  • Poor weather, including rain, snow and fog.

Additionally, pedestrians and bicyclists can be at risk during rush hour traffic. These times tend to coincide with the time of morning that children are walking to school or the bus stop, and during after-school hours.

Getting help from an attorney

It's important to teach children safety rules when walking or biking near traffic, but being careful can only go so far. All it takes is for one careless or negligent driver to cause a tragedy. If you or a loved one is involved in a pedestrian or bicycle accident caused by someone else, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss possible compensation.

Keywords: child, pedestrian, accident, injury