Pennsylvania boy struck walking to school highlights pedestrian dangers

Children may be at risk walking to and from school this season. It is not uncommon for drivers to fail to watch out for child pedestrians.

There can hardly be a worse nightmare for parents than finding out their child has been injured or killed in a car accident. Unfortunately, for many parents in Pennsylvania every year, this nightmare comes true. With school having started, children who walk to and from school or their bus stops may face dangers from nearby traffic.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 4,743 pedestrian deaths across the country in 2012. Out of these, 5 percent involved children ages 14 and under. Children are especially at risk of being hit by cars; over 22 percent of all child fatalities due to traffic accidents were pedestrian accidents.

High school boy hit and killed in front of school

Schools and school routes factor heavily in many of these accidents. A recent tragedy involving a 15-year-old student in McKeesport drove this point home. WPXI News reported that the boy was struck and killed by a school bus while he crossed the street in front of his school. Neighborhood residents, concerned about the ongoing danger in that area, yet failing to convince officials to assign crossing guards, are now taking it upon themselves to help children cross the street near the school. They cited another tragedy last year in which a 14-year-old girl was killed by a dump truck while crossing the street in the same area.

More children are hit near schools than anywhere else, states the National Safety Council. Some of the factors related to child pedestrian accidents include the following:

  • Being hit by a bus or by a vehicle illegally passing a bus stopped to let children on or off

  • Drivers who fail to stop for a crossing guard or to look before turning at an intersection

  • Drivers who fail to look before backing out

  • Drivers who don’t drive cautiously in areas where children are likely to be present, such as neighborhoods, school zones, playgrounds and sidewalks

The chances of a child being seriously injured or killed in a pedestrian accident are high, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. These injuries frequently include traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, lacerations, pelvic and abdominal injuries and internal bleeding.

Seeking help from an attorney

If your child is injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be facing overwhelming medical bills in addition to a lengthy recovery time and possible lifelong disabilities. You will need to contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Pennsylvania as soon as possible after the accident to determine if you may be eligible for compensation.