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Laura Mackie
Laura Mackie
Contributor •

Pedestrian Accidents: When the victim is a child

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Whether you are the parent of a child who was injured as a pedestrian or the driver of the vehicle in the same accident, the long term effects of that single event can be devastating. Perhaps more than any other type of vehicle accident, Pedestrian Accidents involving children tug at our heartstrings.

Children are especially vulnerable to being hit or run over by vehicles. In California, nearly four children under the age of 15 are seriously injured or killed by a car each and every day. Pedestrian injuries are the third leading cause of injury death among children and the fourth leading cause of serious nonfatal injury hospitalizations.

Age and gender are two of the greatest factors when determining the likelihood of injury as a direct result of car related accidents. Many injuries to toddlers and preschoolers are “nontraffic”, meaning they occur in driveways and parking lots as opposed to public roads. Over one- half of all fatal nontraffic pedestrian injuries occur among toddlers (ages 1-2 years). Beginning at age three years, boys outnumber girls as pedestrian fatalities by almost 2 to 1. Nonfatal pedestrian injuries follow a similar pattern.

The California Highway Patrol data indicates that the most common time of day for injuries to occur is from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., suggesting children at play or walking home from school.

Experts agree that, armed with the knowledge these statistics supply, we can successfully institute child pedestrian safety programs that will greatly reduce the numbers of pedestrian injuries to children.

The most successful prevention efforts include a combination of Education, Engineering and Enforcement.