Protecting Children in Parking Lots and Driveways

Just because an area is one in which cars are slow-moving does not mean that it is safe for children. Driveways and parking lots can both be hazardous for children in Pennsylvania. A 2007 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in these types of locations, among children under 15, there were around 5,000 injuries and 205 deaths. Drivers must take care in these locations to avoid injuring children.

Safety for drivers and passengers

Drivers need to be particularly attentive when they are in parking lots, driveways and similar areas, making sure that they keep their speed low and look out for children, who may be even harder to spot because of their small stature. Parents also need to teach their children to be careful in these areas by looking for vehicles and walking instead of running. If there are sidewalks, children should be taught to use these instead.

Parental behavior

In addition, parents should make sure their children remain in the vehicle until they open the door. When they are dropped off, they should get out of the car from the door that is next to the curb. When walking with children through parking lots, parents should hold their hands and not talk on the phone or engage in other distractions. These safety measures can help prevent a child from sustaining a personal injury.

Safety study

A University of Alabama at Birmingham study revealed that parents were failing to take most of these safety precautions. Around two-thirds of the children observed in the study were unsupervised, and nearly all of them were farther away from a parent than an arm’s length.

If a child is injured in an accident in a driveway, parking lot or similar area, parents may want to talk to an attorney about the steps they need to take to obtain compensation. The driver may be held responsible, but if the accident occurs on private property, and there is something about the design that contributed to the accident, a property owner could be considered responsible as well.