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Study Finds End of School Day Most Dangerous for Children

Two Kids WalkingThe calendar has flipped to November, and the daylight hours are getting shorter – a sure sign that the winter season is on its way. While winter may not mean snow and ice for most people in California, the decreased hours of daylight brings an increased risk for pedestrians who are out in the late afternoon or evening hours. This is especially true for children coming home from school at the end of the day, whether traveling home by school bus or walking. In fact, a recent study found that the end of the school day presents a dangerous time for children, leaving them at a higher risk of being struck by a vehicle.

Small-Scale Accident Research

The study was conducted by medical researchers from the Jacobi Medical Center in New York City. The research team examined the medical records of 100 young accident victims who had been struck by vehicles. All of the accidents occurred in 2012, and the average age of the victim was 8 years old. Of the 100 injured victims, 21 were girls and 79 were boys. The majority of the victims suffered from fractures to ankles, shins, or thighs.

Nearly 30 percent of the accidents occurred while the victims were heading home from school, and 42 of the victims were struck by cars in the evening hours. More than half—60 percent—of the victims were hit when they were not with a parent.

Keeping Children Safe

Along with their findings, the research team offered recommendations for parents to help keep children safe. One of the big dangers to children today is “distracted walking.” Similar to distracted driving, distracted walking involves a person using their cell phone and therefore not really aware of what is going on around them as they are walking. Parents should make sure their children understand how important it is to put their phone away while walking to avoid unpleasant—and possibly tragic—surprises.  Children should also be instructed to only cross at traffic signals or marked crosswalks.

The research team also stressed the importance of having adequate adult supervision at the school and the school zone, such as safety officers and crossing guards. The presence of such adults generally increases driver awareness.

Unfortunately, we cannot always be there to protect our children and accidents do happen. If your child has been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, contact an experienced Monterey County personal injury attorney at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. for help. Call (408) 298-7200 for a free consultation today.

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