A 4-year-old girl was injured Tuesday afternoon after she apparently ran into oncoming traffic and was struck by a car, according to state troopers.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the Dade City girl was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in serious but stable condition.
She was playing on the grassy shoulder of Willingham Drive around 4:30 p.m. when she suddenly ran into the street and was hit by a Toyota Camry driven by a 41-year-old Dade City woman.
According to troopers, no charges have been filed in the accident.
Children are always at risk for being struck by a car anytime they are near a road. Whether they are outside with a family member, playing with friends or simply walking alone, children can be struck by a car and seriously injured or even killed.
No parent wants to see their child injured while walking or standing near a roadway. The following safety tips can keep you and those closest to you out of harm’s way.
• Stay out of the street and walk along a sidewalk – Make sure you remind your child that the safest place possible to walk on is the sidewalk. Tell your kids to avoid streets without sidewalks so they are not tempted to walk in the street.
• Map out your child’s walking route ahead of time – Help your child select a safe walking path so that they can get to and from school, to a babysitter’s house or even to a friend’s home safely. Remind your child to use this same route when walking to the same place every day. By doing this ahead of time with your child, you can avoid busy streets, high traffic areas and reduce the risk of an accident.
• Remind kids to cross the street at a designated crosswalk – Children do not always think about safety, so constantly retell them to always cross a street at an intersection and not in the middle of the street. This is often easier for children to remember when crossing on large streets, however in less busy roadways kids can be tempted to run across the middle of the road to get to their destination quicker. Drivers cannot always anticipate when a child is going to run into the road, so make sure your child avoids this dangerous habit and always crosses at the crosswalk to avoid a lethal collision.
• Follow traffic signals – Traffic signals are set in place to protect everyone from getting hurt, so make sure your child understands the importance of following them. Children should always follow the rules of the road and only cross when they have the right-of-way, cross at an intersection, refrain from running so that cars have time to spot children approaching and obey all signs that apply to pedestrians.
• Wear bright, reflective clothing – Bright, reflective clothing can make a big difference in your child’s safety. Numerous studies show that bright clothing helps driver’s spot pedestrians quicker making it less likely for an unfortunate accident to occur.
• Do not walk or play in high traffic areas – Many parents tend to overlook this simple safety fact, but it is very important to keep children from playing in areas where cars are. This includes parking lots, parking garages, alleyways and any areas around dumpsters. If children are playing near the home, make sure to remind them to stay away from the street and to never dart out into the street without checking for approaching vehicles.
The more you remind children about walking and playing safely near roadways, the more likely they are going to implement safe pedestrian practices into their daily lives. If your child has been injured in a pedestrian accident, depending on the circumstances, you may have a claim for damages. A Pasco County Injury Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you understand whether you have a claim and what your legal rights are. Contact us today at 727-847-2299 for a free case consultation.