These child pedestrian accident statistics reveal that these accidents are too common. If you’re a parent of a child in Kirkland, here’s what you need to know about the incidence of child pedestrian accidents in the U.S., as well as child safety tips.
High Number of Child Traffic Deaths in the U.S.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2012, there was a total of 33,561 traffic fatalities in the United States. Of those, children ages 14 and younger accounted for three percent (1,168) of those traffic fatalities.
Child pedestrians made up five percent (255 total) of the 4,743 pedestrian fatalities that same year. Of all children killed in traffic accidents, about a fifth (22 percent) were pedestrians. The good news is that the number of child pedestrians killed in traffic accidents dropped from 389 in 2003 to the current number of 255 in 2012: a 34 percent drop.
The majority of fatal pedestrian accidents involving children – 42 percent – occurred between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 7:59 p.m. This is a time when many children are playing outside with friends after school. The second highest percentage of child pedestrian fatalities occurred between 8:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.; during these hours, darkness may make it more difficult for drivers to see pedestrians.
Causes of Child Pedestrian Deaths
Driving while impaired is a leading cause of child pedestrian deaths. Per the NHTSA, in 2012, 38 children under the age of 14 in the U.S. killed in pedestrian accidents were hit by drivers who had a blood alcohol content level of .08 percent or higher (above the legal limit) at the time of accident.
The NHTSA also reports that 76 percent of child pedestrian deaths occurred at non-intersections.
- Children playing with friends by the side of the road
- Children running into the road (not necessarily to cross)
- Children crossing the street at a non-intersection
Citing previous studies, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, Reducing Childhood Pedestrian Injuries, states that there are certain risk factors for child pedestrian deaths.
- The time that school ends
- The proximity of a child’s school to the child’s home
- Family income
- Parents’ education level
- Family stress
- The child’s road environment
Young age, lower income, and a high traffic volume are the risk factors most closely associated with child pedestrian accidents, according to a 1997 article in Injury Prevention and cited by the CDC in its report. The CDC also cites a previous study published in Pediatrics in 1992 that found that some parents of elementary school children overestimate their children’s ability to safely cross the road.
Tips and Practices for Keeping Children Safe
To help keep child pedestrians safe, all members of the community must take an active role. Below are some actions the CDC lists that may be advantageous in reducing the number of child pedestrian deaths.
- Maintaining clean and debris-free sidewalks and walkways
- Teaching children about traffic dangers
- Investing in crosswalks and crossing guards
- Selecting bus stops with child safety in mind
- Constructing traffic-free multi-use paths
- Walking with children rather than having children walk alone
- Teaching safe walking techniques
- Educating drivers about pedestrian safety
- Installing adequate lighting on neighborhood streets
We provided some other tips for child pedestrian safety in a previous blog post.
Call Max Meyers Law if Your Child is Hurt in a Pedestrian Accident
Browse our bicycle and pedestrian accident blog for more useful information. And while we hope you never have to, if your child suffers injuries in a pedestrian accident in Kirkland, the attorneys at Max Meyers Law, PLLC, can help recover compensation for damages. If you need to set up a free case consultation, contact us at 425-399-7000.