We all know that crossing busy intersections can be treacherous for pedestrians. In certain parts of San Antonio, it seems like rush hour at all times of the day. The dangers that adults encounter are exponentially dangerous for children.
There are a number of reasons behind this, but an ABCnews.com report highlighted a study conducted by the University of Iowa that found that younger children may not have the motor skills to figure out when it is safe to cross the street. Researchers used virtual reality simulators to observe children at various ages as they determined when they could cross a busy street. They found that six-year-old children were hit by cars 8 percent of the time; eight-year-olds were struck 6 percent of the time; and 12-year-olds were hit in only 2 percent of simulations.
The researchers determined that as children grew, their depth perception and motor skills improved to where they would have better chances to cross the street safely.
In light of this, there are several things parents (and schools) can do to ensure children’s safety near busy streets.
Encourage crossing near stops – Instead of relying on kids to properly judge speed and distance, have them cross at a four way stop or at a stop light where all cars are required to stop.
Take headphones off – Children should always be aware of their surroundings. Having headphones on may prevent them from hearing essential noises that would alert them to danger.
Establish crossing guards and safe zones – Having older children (or even adults) be traffic monitors can help ensure safe passage for children.
In the meantime, if you have questions about your legal rights if your child has been injured in a pedestrian accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help.