Last week a 5-year-old boy was hit by a car while crossing Powder Springs Street near Oregon Trail in Marietta. He was crossing the street with his mother when he was struck by a Honda Accord driven by a Marietta man. No charges have been filed at this point, but the case is still under investigation.
The boy, whose name was not released, sustained a broken leg, head injuries, and other unspecified internal injuries. He was airlifted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite in critical condition. Thankfully, he is expected to make a full recovery.
Not all children are so lucky. Last month, you may remember, an Atlanta girl was killed after stepping off a MARTA bus. She was hit by an SUV that illegally passed the bus.
In light of these two horrific accidents, I decided to dedicate a post to child safety on streets.
First of all, if you’re an Atlanta driver, please slow down, especially in neighborhoods. Going 10 miles per hour faster through a neighborhood won’t make that much different in your trip time, but it might make a big difference for a neighborhood child.
If you have children, keep them away from the street unless they’re holding your hand. And even when they’re holding your hand, you must pay close attention. Remember, the children in the news stories above were crossing the street with their mothers. Keep a tight grip on your child, and don’t let him or her walk ahead of you or behind you. Stay right beside your child at all times.
As your children get older, teach them to look both ways before crossing the street. Also teach them to look for hidden vehicles behind and in front of other cars.
Help your children choose the safest walking routes with the fewest crossings. High-traffic streets and streets with higher speed limits should be avoided.
Teach your children to always use sidewalks and paths as far away from the traffic as possible.
Teach your children to be “defensive walkers.” Drivers may not always see small children. The children must be on the lookout for drivers. For example, a driver pulling in or out of a driveway may not notice a child on the sidewalk.
Children should walk (not run) when they cross the street.
Children should always use cross walks and obey traffic signals.
Finally, the best way to teach children anything, in my opinion, is to lead by example. Always obey traffic laws and use cross walks. Practice what you preach. If your child sees you jaywalking, he or she will probably think that it’s an acceptable behavior.
I am dedicated to child safety issues. If you would like to see any specific child safety issues addressed on my blog, please let me know by leaving a comment or sending an email. If you ever have any legal questions about child injuries, call me at 404-531-9700. I’ll be glad to help.