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Lancaster boy hit by car and killed walking to school bus stop

The risk of pedestrian accidents may be decreasing in colder areas of the country now, where fewer people are wanting to go outside and walk in the frigid weather. However, the weather stays relatively mild year-round in Southern California, meaning that people are likely to continue walking to their destinations instead of driving. This, of course, means that drivers will need to be extra vigilant of their surroundings at all times.

Some of the most vulnerable individuals walking along Santa Monica roadways are children, particularly during the early morning and late-afternoon hours before and after school. These times typically coincide with traffic rush hours, making it extremely dangerous to be a child pedestrian. Children are at risk of being hit by cars not only in California, but across the country as well. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 22 percent of all traffic fatalities involving children were pedestrian accidents. In 2012, 4,743 children across the U.S. lost their lives while walking near traffic.

Tragic bus stop accident highlights school-year dangers

According to Smart Growth America, roads that are particularly dangerous for pedestrian traffic include undeveloped country roads, where there are typically no sidewalks and speed limits are high, and busy metropolitan areas where the traffic is heavy and fast. Busy early-morning traffic appeared to be the cause of a 14-year-old boy’s death in Lancaster last February, when he was struck by a car while attempting to cross the street in front of his home to catch the school bus. The New York Daily News said that the boy’s parents had begged school transportation officials to change the bus route so their son didn’t have to cross the busy street to get on his bus, but their request was refused.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have listed other common areas, in addition to bus stops and school zones, where children are likely to be hit by a car. These include:

  • Residential neighborhoods or areas near a playground.
  • In parking lots, near driveways or other areas where vehicles park.
  • At intersections, crosswalks and non-intersection locations.

According to the CDC, 9 percent of the children who don’t walk to school or to the bus stop find other methods of getting to school because of traffic dangers.

Contacting an attorney

Pedestrian accidents involving children are serious. Child pedestrian are about 1.5 percent more likely to be killed in an accident than children who are passengers in a vehicle. If your child was hit by a car, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options.