Safety Tips To Avoid Ohio Child Pedestrian Accidents As We Head Back To School

Safety Tips To Avoid Ohio Child Pedestrian Accidents As We Head Back To School

It’s that time of the year we love and statistic dread. Our children are heading back to school but Ohio child pedestrian accidents go up as do those across the country. Keeping safe in mind will help reduce this number and keep our children safe when crossing Ohio streets.

As children across Ohio head back to school, both drivers and pedestrians must focus more on safety to avoid Ohio child pedestrian accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 13 percent of all school children will walk or bike to school this year, meaning that numerous children will be present near and on public roadways. Drivers can do their part to avoid dangerous and fatal child pedestrian accidents by keeping their eyes on the road this fall.

The NHTSA reports that one-fifth of the deaths of children age 14 years and younger related to vehicle crashes are actually pedestrians. One in three children pedestrian fatalities take place between 3 and 7 p.m., as children head home from school. There has benn a steady increase in Ohio pedestrian accidents over the past few years. In 2012, data from the U.S. Department of Public Transportation shows that pedestrian/vehicle accidents increased by 6 percent. In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed in a motor vehicle accident nation-wide. 76,000 additional pedestrians were injured in a motor vehicle crash in 2012. In 2013, 2,277 pedestrians were injured and 88 were killed in Ohio vehicle accidents. 496 injuries and 7 fatalities involved children under the age of 15.

According to the National Safety Council, all 50 states have laws regulating driver behavior in school zones. In Ohio, it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus until the bus stops flashing red lights. Even traffic on divided roadways must stop in both directions to allow children to cross safely. The NSC states that passing a school bus on the right is illegal.

The National Safety Council has created a list of steps drivers can take to avoid child pedestrian accidents as children and young adults head back to school.

  • Slow down- Research from AAA shows that a vehicle traveling at 20 mph is 2/3 less likely to kill pedestrians than a vehicle traveling at 30 mph.
  • Never drive while distracted near school zones or areas where children are likely to be- such as parks or neighborhoods. It is illegal to use a cell phone while in an Ohio school zone.
  • Always come to a complete stop. One-third of drivers roll through stop signs in neighborhoods and school zones.
  • Never go around a stopped school bus. It is illegal and dangerous.
  • Pay careful attention when bikes and walking children are around. Children are unpredictable, and may make unsafe choices and sudden moves.
  • Give yourself extra time to travel during the school year to allow for greater congestion in school zones, and to avoid the temptation to rush due to lateness, which can cause accidents.

Parents should instruct children to have safe habits while walking or riding their bikes during the school year. Parents should encourage children to use crosswalks, go directly to and from bus stops, watching for vehicles, obeying traffic laws, and to avoid sudden movements. Parents should escort smaller children to and from school to prevent accidents and promote overall safety.

Keeping these important safety tips in mind and teaching our children will help avoid child pedestrian accidents and keep our children safe. Allowing all children to have a fun learning filled school year.

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