Most Washington residents understand that cars can be dangerous. Adults have the ability to recognize the risk of large motor vehicles. However, children may not have the same awareness. Drivers need to take care to avoid children who are playing in or near the roadway.
How common of the problem is it to encounter children on the road? According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children are often the victims of auto-pedestrian accidents. Children are smaller and can be more difficult for drivers to see. According to data from 2013, about five percent of the traffic fatalities to pedestrians that year were children. This made up 21 percent of all traffic related child deaths that year.
Additionally, 10,000 children — or 15 percent of the people injured that year — were injured in pedestrian accidents that year.
According to the data, boys were at a higher risk of injury and death in auto-pedestrian accidents than girls. According to the data, 59 percent of the fatal pedestrian accidents involving children 2013 involved boys.
Many of these traffic accidents did not occur in intersections. According to the data, 81 percent of the auto-pedestrian accidents involving children occurred in non-intersections.
While these number seem surprisingly high, auto-pedestrian fatalities involving children accidents actually decreased by 36 percent between 2004 and 2013. Additionally, there was a 52 percent drop in the number of children between the ages of eight and 14-years-old involved in these types of accidents.
The statistics show just how easy it is for a child to be injured in a pedestrian accident. Drivers throughout the state of Washington need to be aware of these risks and look out for children at all times. When a child is injured in an auto-pedestrian accident, that child may have legal recourse. An attorney can give specific legal advice to families about their legal rights in these cases.