Preventing Child Pedestrian Injuries in San Antonio

May 2014

Texas is second only to California in the number of pedestrian deaths that occur within the state. NBC reports that in 2012, there were 478 pedestrian deaths in the state of Texas. Nationwide, the number of pedestrian fatalities hit a five-year high after increasing each year since 2009.

Pedestrian accident lawyers in San Antonio know that children and the elderly are at the greatest risk of being injured or killed in such collisions. Taking steps to prevent pedestrian accidents is essential, and a report in the Journal of TRAUMA® Injury, Infection and Critical Care summarized some of the steps that have been taken over the years to try to reduce the number of children killed in pedestrian-vehicle collisions.

Reducing Pediatric Pedestrian Injuries

Efforts to reduce pediatric pedestrian injuries date back decades. In the 1950s, a program was used in the United Kingdom that has been called the “Kerb Method.” Children were asked to recite rules military-style so they could memorize safety tips for walking and crossing the road. The simple rules developed for children during the 1950s, called the Green Cross Code, are still taught to and used by British children today.

Education is a good step towards keeping children safe from pedestrian collisions, however it is not enough. In fact, in the late 1980s, the World Health Organization (WHO) released studies demonstrating that there were several essential aspects to any pedestrian safety program effective at reducing the risk of collisions.

The WHO dubbed the three essential elements of pedestrian safety programs as the “Three E’s.” This stands for education, engineering and enforcement.

Education should extend not just to children but to parents and to drivers as well. Children between the ages of five and 14 are especially vulnerable, and both boys and African-American children are at the greatest risk of being killed in a pedestrian crash. Parents and kids need to be aware of risk factors, of where accidents happen and of how they can be prevented. Urban and residential streets, for example, are places with a high number of childhood pedestrian accident fatalities and most crashes involving children and motor vehicles occur in the early evening.

Engineering and enforcement focus on designing safe roads, and passing and enforcing laws designed to increase the safety of children who are walking on those roads. An organization founded in 1987 called the Safe Kids program lobbies for laws to change environments in as many as 150 different cities, and the organization has been effective at helping to encourage lawmakers to make roads safer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also believe that behavioral evaluation and skills training should be essential parts of pedestrian safety programs.

When comprehensive efforts are made to educate the public on safety and to make the roads safer, lives can be saved.

Contact a San Antonio accident lawyer at the Herrera Law Firm. Call 800-455-1054 for a free case consultation.

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