According to report from the Chicago Tribune, nearly 50 percent of children who are hit by vehicles are struck near a school. That same report states that in Chicago alone between the years of 2007 and 2011, an estimated 1,700 children who were between the ages of 5 and 18 were hit by vehicles within approximately one block of a school. Alarmingly, the number of near-accidents is likely significantly higher. While the state of Illinois has taken numerous measures to help protect school aged children from accidents, the problem still exists.
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Keeping Kids Safe
With the new school year well underway, the streets surrounding schools are commonly crowded with children. While motorists need to be on the look out and use extreme caution when traveling through these areas, there are things parents and children can do to help prevent traffic related child accidents near schools as well.
- Younger children should always be accompanied by and adult or older, responsible student.
- Children should walk on sidewalks when they are available.
- When no sidewalks are available, children should always walk facing traffic.
- Children should never use electronics like cell phones, media devices, or other distractions when crossing streets.
- Children should walk in groups in order to be more visible to drivers.
- Always cross the street at the direction of a crossing guard when one is available.
- Obey traffic signs and signals.
- Before crossing the street, children should stop and look for vehicles. A good rule of thumb is to look left, then right, then left again.
- Always cross streets at intersections.
- Never step into the roadway between parked vehicles.
- Pay attention to loose shoestrings and other dangling items that could cause a fall.
- Children should wear bright colored clothing or use reflective devices when walking on or near roadways to make them easier to spot by motorists.
- Children should avoid chasing or horsing around with others near streets.
Unfortunately, even when every precaution is taken, accidents between vehicles and children still sometimes occur. Children who are struck by cars, trucks and buses often suffer from severe injuries that result in extensive medical treatment that cause significant medical expenses to add up,not to mention the serious pain and suffering the child has to endure.A well qualified lawyer can help victims and their families secure just compensation for their losses.