Prevention of child pedestrian accidents is essential, and new research can help by shedding light on some of the behaviors that promote collisions. While children may engage in activities that make crashes more likely, however, drivers still maintain a responsibility to ensure they operate vehicles safely in a way that does not cause harm to kids. If a collision occurs, an attorney with experience in pedestrian auto accidents should be consulted by the family to get help pursuing a claim for compensation for losses.
Risks of Atlanta Pedestrian Crashes for Children
News Medical reported on the research conducted to determine the behaviors on the part of child pedestrians that promotes accidents. The study included groups of children between the ages of seven and nine; between the ages of nine and 10; and between the ages of 10 and 13. Experienced adult pedestrians were also included as a control group. The researchers simulated typical streets and used eye-tracking devices to determine how both the children and the adults determined when it was safe to cross the road.
Younger children under the age of 10 had the greatest difficulty in making an accurate assessment regarding whether crossing the road was safe or not. Younger children were also least able to recognize hazards which could affect safe crossing, such as a curve in the road that restricted their view of oncoming traffic or a parked vehicle that blocked visibility and made it difficult to see if safe crossing was possible.
While younger children had the most trouble, even older kids did not do much better. Children aged 10 to 13 tended to linger on the curb for a longer period of time than adult pedestrians, which indicated to researchers that children within this age group had a harder time distinguishing between hazardous situations and situations which were safe.
Children of all ages were also interviewed on factors that could affect safe crossing, such as the speed of approaching vehicles and their field of vision. None of the children in any age group expressed a strong understanding of these important concepts.
Because children may not understand as clearly as adults how to cross the road safely, drivers in areas with lots of children such as school zones and pedestrian neighborhoods need to ensure they are driving slowly, paying careful attention, and taking steps to make sure they observe and stop for children.
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