At Neinstein & Associates personal injury lawyers, car accidents are the source of a large portion of their business. Car accidents are a leading cause of both injury and death in North America, meaning lawyers are kept busy fighting for the rights of their clients.
Less common are instances of pedestrians being injured by vehicles. Unfortunately, however, many pedestrians and cyclists are involved in collisions with motor vehicles, and rarely come out the victor. And in Canada, children are most likely to be the victims of vehicle-pedestrian accidents.
Parachute Canada, a national charitable organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives, recently outlined some important facts around child pedestrian injuries:
Young children are at risk of pedestrian injuries because they have not yet developed the cognitive and physical skills to cope with the many challenges of traffic.
Having parents or caregivers present can help reduce the risk of injury.
Children aged 10 to 14 years have the highest incidence of pedestrian-related injuries. Children aged five to 14 years are at the greatest risk for pedestrian-related deaths.
Most child pedestrian injuries and deaths occur in urban areas. However, when a pedestrian is hit on a rural road, the result is more likely to be fatal because of higher vehicle speeds.
Child pedestrians are most often hurt in the months of September and October, followed by May and June.
Children are more likely to be struck by a car in areas with heavy traffic, lots of parked cars and few play areas, such as parks.
While boys have higher rates of pedestrian injuries and deaths, girls seem to be catching up.
Parachute Canada has also released a short PSA video to help kids understand the basics of road safety:
This January 1, the Province of Ontario aimed to improve the safety of pedestrians by introducing strict new laws. The new regulations, named the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act, are outlined in the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog:
There are increased fines for violations at crosswalks, school crossings, and pedestrian crossings. Those fines are DOUBLED in Community Safety zones. Drivers will be fined $150-$500 along with 3 demerit points for such offences.
Staring January 1, 2016, drivers and CYCLISTS must STOP and yield the entire road to pedestrians at pedestrian crossovers, and at school crossings where there is a crossing guard displaying a school crossing stop sign. These pedestrian crossovers are identified with specific signs, road markings and lights. The new rules do NOT apply to pedestrian crosswalks at intersections with stop signs or traffic signals, unless a school guard is present.
The Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act also gives municipalities the power to install new types of pedestrian crossings on low speed, low volume roads in addition to existing crossovers (think more speed bump crossings in a sub-division).
While Ontario’s new laws are a step in the right direction, pedestrian injuries are still a fact of life in our car-centric society. As such, personal injury lawyers like Neinstein & Associates can help you claim the compensation you’re entitled to in the unfortunate case of an injury.