As the school year begins anew, parents all across the nation worry for the safety of their kids. But concerns inside the building aren’t the only issues at hand. Over 56 million primary and secondary students are attending public and private schools, which lead to a lot of foot traffic in and outside of the grounds. Pedestrian accidents are always a concern when the school year begins, but that’s especially the case over the past couple of years. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian deaths rose 11% in 2016 alone. Many issues factored into that increase, and what’s even scarier is that the increase in pedestrian accidents is on the rise yet again. But what are the main current factors of this rise and how can you help keep your kids safe this year?
Cell Phone Usage While Walking
No cell driving is a blanket rule across the country due to the obvious and well-known dangers. But texting and walking are safe, right? Not so fast. Popular apps and social games incorporate mobile technology, but that can and often does lead to serious issues. Regardless of the cause, many pedestrians simply can’t manage to walk down a sidewalk or cross a street without being distracted by their cell phone or another mobile device. Consequences can include bumping into structures or other people, stepping into traffic or running into cars–moving or parked, and falling down stairs. In fact, the problem is so serious that a 2010 study discovered over 1,500 pedestrians were treated for injuries due to cell phone usage while walking. The simple solution: Put the cell phone away when you’re on the move.
A Lot More People Are Leaving Their Cars at Home
Walking is the least expensive, most environmentally friendly, and one of the most fun modes of transportation. Add in a bike and you’ve just doubled the fun. Perhaps that’s why almost 1 million more people rode a bike or walked to work in 2015 than in 2005. While walking is undoubtedly healthy, pedestrians are just as vulnerable now as they were a decade ago. But since there are so many more pedestrians and cyclists out today, the chances of being hit by a car and needing to contact a competent injury accident attorney have increased as well. Safety and vigilance are always the keys to avoiding unnecessary hospital visits due to pedestrian accidents.
More Vehicles, Especially Large Ones, Are on the Road
It’s not a surprise that as gas prices fall or even remain steady, more cars come out to play. Big vehicles, however, also follow that trend. A 2004 study that is still cited quite often today, discovered that pedestrians are twice as likely to be involved in fatal accidents when hit by an SUV than by a car. That may not sound like such an issue since bigger cars aren’t as popular right now, right? Not quite. Larger vehicles are on the rise once more. In fact, Ford Motors recently announced their plans to phase almost 90% of car sales by 2020 in lieu of utility vehicles, trucks, and commercial vehicles. The ability to pay attention is the pedestrian’s best friend. But a competent injury accident attorney can be a good runner-up. We’re here if you need us.