A recent fatal pedestrian accident should serve as a sobering reminder to parents that safety is critical when crossing the street with children. According to a January 6, 2020 article in the Baltimore Sun, a woman and three children were struck by a passenger vehicle around 4 p.m. at an intersection in Essex, MD. The Baltimore County Fire Department and other first responders arrived on the scene, at which point they transported all four victims to local hospitals, including Johns Hopkins. Two children, aged 5 and 6 years old, died upon arrival; the adult female and a 9-year-old were still recovering from serious injuries.
Officials continue to investigate the causes of the crash, though they did note that the intersection sees heavy traffic – especially around evening rush hour. To protect your children from Maryland pedestrian accidents, you may find it useful to review some of the reasons they happen and safety tips to prevent them.
How Pedestrian Accidents Happen
These incidents usually occur because of negligence, often because a driver was careless in operating the vehicle. Negligent conduct may be a violation of traffic laws. Such as speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, improper turns or lane changes, and many others. Texting, talking, and other cell phone use is also a major issue in pedestrian accidents, just as it is in other motor vehicle crashes. When motorists are interacting with their phones, their attention is diverted to an activity other than safe operation of the car.
Tips to Keep Your Child Safe When Walking
Some recommendations are for parents when walking with children. While others relate to the lessons you should be teaching for situations when you are not around. For example:
- Never allow children under 10 years old to cross the street alone.
- Always walk on the sidewalk, crosswalk, or other areas designated for pedestrians.
- Use traffic signals when walking, paying special attention to lights that do not have separate “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” signage. In such a case, you should only proceed on green in the same direction as traffic.
- Teach children to look left, right, and then left again before crossing. Once they proceed forward, they should continually check for traffic.
- Just as drivers should avoid cell phone use, it is important for pedestrians to put their devices down and take headphones off when crossing the street.
- Tell children to be especially careful around vehicles that are reversing out of a parking space, driveway, or alley.
- When walking at dusk or nighttime, make sure to wear brightly colored clothing to ensure you are visible to other drivers.
Get Legal Help from a Baltimore County, MD Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If your child was hurt in a pedestrian accident despite following safety tips and exercising proper caution, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. To learn more about your rights as the parent of a Maryland pedestrian accident victim, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman. We can answer your questions and tell you more about your legal options after conducting a free consultation regarding your case.