Children walking to school face pedestrian accident dangers

Children are often hit by cars while walking to or from school. Drivers may be negligent and fail to observe school zone laws.

By this time of year, many drivers across Maryland are accustomed to seeing children walking to and from school. However, there is always the chance that a negligent, distracted or intoxicated driver can cause an accident that injures a child pedestrian. Children account for a large portion of pedestrian accidents across the country, unfortunately.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 108 pedestrians were killed in accidents in Maryland in 2013. This number was higher than the previous three years. If national statistics by the NHTSA applied to the state, more than 22 percent of these deaths would have been children.

Pedestrian accidents near schools

The National Safety Council states that more child pedestrians are involved in car collisions near schools than anywhere else. Some of the factors that contribute to children being hit by cars include:

  • A child hit by a car that failed to stop when a bus was loading or unloading passengers
  • Drivers who fail to slow down in posted school zones or yield the right of way to children crossing the street
  • Cars that drive too fast near residential areas, playgrounds or parking lots
  • Younger children who don't understand traffic safety rules and dart out into the street
  • Drivers who block crosswalks or go through intersections when children are trying to cross

A frightening accident that occurred recently in Baltimore showed just how quickly and unexpectedly a child can get hit by a car. WBALTV News reported that three teenagers waiting to cross the street near their school were hit by a woman who had been described by witnesses as driving erratically for several blocks before the accident. The 28-year-old woman reportedly made an unsafe lane change, clipped a nearby car and jumped a median before striking the students. The children - a 14-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy - went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. One boy suffered a broken leg and a back injury.

Authorities said the driver had no driver's license, car insurance or current registration and was driving alone with only a learner's permit. She was cited for these violations. It would also not be unreasonable for the parents of the injured children to seek compensation from the driver for their children's medical expenses.

Pedestrian injuries are often severe

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, pedestrians face serious injuries in a collision. These include head injuries, internal trauma and fractures to the legs and pelvis. If your child was hit by a car, you may wish to contact a personal injury attorney.