How to prevent my child from being hit by a car

A 6-year-old boy was hit by a school bus in Lawrenceville on Nov. 30, receiving non-life-threatening injuries. An article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted that the incident occurred after the boy ran in front of the moving bus.

Crashes between cars and pedestrians can lead to horrific injuries because pedestrians have nothing protecting their bodies from the impact. Children are especially at risk in these types of crashes because they are much smaller than adults. However, children often do not see the danger cars present.

To help prevent your child from being hit by a car make sure your child knows how to be safe around traffic and practices those skills in your presence. Elementary school aged children should still have supervision when walking or playing near roadways and often need reminders of safe habits while walking. Taking recreational walks with your child can be a low-stress way to break down these safety habits for your child.

Safe walking habits your child should be familiar with, include:

  • Walking on the sidewalk when it is available.
  • Facing traffic when walking where no sidewalk is available.
  • Crossing the road at crosswalks when they are available.
  • Stopping at the curb and looking left, right and left again before crossing the road.
  • Remembering to continue looking for cars while crossing the road.

Because a child darting out into the street is one of the most common causes for collisions between motorists and young pedestrians, it is also important that you emphasize to your child that he or she should never run out into the road. If a ball rolls into the road, he or she should ask for an adult to retrieve it. If the child is getting picked up after school, he or she should wait to cross the road until an adult is present. Also, your child should never play in, around or under vehicles.

No pedestrian should ever be hit by a car, especially a child. To help prevent it from happening to your child, make sure he or she knows how to walk safely around traffic and is supervised when near roadways.