The kids are outside, the days are warm, and the evenings are longer – it must be the school summer holidays! Now is the time to pay extra attention on residential roads as children seem to think roads make perfect playgrounds.
Last year over 5,000 children were injured or killed on Britain’s roads, and the number of incidents is higher during the summer months. So here’s a short run down of things to think about if you’re driving in residential areas, to avoid road traffic accidents involving children.
- Be extra aware of children on the roads as both pedestrians and cyclists.
- Be alert to children changing direction without warning – such as when chasing balls.
- Be extra alert when there are parked cars as you may not be able to see a child about to dart out from between them.
- If you see a ball roll into the road in front of you, always assume that a child will follow it.
- Children can become distracted by the smallest things, and won’t think about the risks. For example, if they hear or see a puppy being walked they may just walk into the road to get to it without looking for traffic.
- If you have to reverse out of a driveway, or off the parking spot in front of your house, take extra care and take your time. Small children can often be in your blind spot or behind your vehicle and completely hidden. This is even more important if you drive a large car such as a 4x4. If you know there are children about it may be a good idea to get another adult to guide you out once it’s clear.
- Children on bicycles may be less steady than adults, so give them plenty of space and slow down when passing them.
- A lot of young people wear headphones when walking, so don’t assume they can hear your vehicle approaching. Pay attention especially if someone looks like they are about to cross the road without looking as they may be distracted by their music or mobile phone.
- Stick to a low speed. 30mph may be the normal speed for residential areas, but driving at 20mph gives you more of a chance of stopping in time if a child does appear in the road in front of you.
Sadly accidents do happen, but with this advice we will hopefully see fewer incidents involving children on Britain’s roads this summer.
Slater and Gordon’s No Win, No Fee Solicitors can help you to claim compensation if you were injured in a road traffic accident through no fault of your own. Call us for a free consultation on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will call you.