Most drivers throughout Georgia have adjusted to seeing children walking to and from school by now. However, with the weather rapidly beginning to change, your children may be more at risk of pedestrian accidents in the winter months than they were when school began in September.
An accident that occurred on September 6 in Clayton County shows how suddenly and unexpectedly a child can be hit by a car. WSBTV News reported that a 13-year-old girl was walking in the afternoon when a vehicle struck her, resulting in critical injuries. It was unknown whether she was walking home from school, but as you are aware, the time of the accident would coincide with many children’s after-school schedules.
As the weather changes, drivers need to be aware of the following conditions that may endanger your children walking to and from school:
- Early morning darkness when children are walking or waiting at their bus stops
- Frost and ice buildup on the roads in the morning
- Sun glare in the afternoon
- Wind, rain and snow obstructing visibility and making the roads slick
Drivers also need to be aware of reduced speed limits in school zones and to be vigilant for children crossing the street. Some drivers fail to stop for school buses when they have their caution lights on or safety arms extended, which can be extremely dangerous if your children take the bus.
You may reduce the chances that a vehicle will strike your children by talking to them about pedestrian safety. Teach them about the importance of crossing at designated crosswalks and only at a green light, when there is a light at the intersection. Tell them never to engage in horseplay with their friends near traffic and not to dart out into the street. It can help to be smart around traffic, but nobody can prevent the actions of negligent drivers. If your child is in an injury accident, compensation may be available to cover the damages.