Our Alabama pedestrian accident attorneys remind residents that International Walk to School Day is this week. You don’t have to be in school to participate either. Take the hike to schools with your child or get outdoors after school and take a walk with them. The idea of the event is raise awareness about pedestrian dangers, to encourage kids to get moving to get healthy, to campaign for more walkable streets and to help to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.
While we want our children to get outside and play and we want them to do it safely. To help to encourage fitness-related activities, to increase self- confidence and responsibility, parents are urged to speak with their children about pedestrian safety. These tips can turn into lifelong safe traveling habits and can help to decrease their risks of being involved in a pedestrian accident in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham or elsewhere in Alabama.
Schools in Birmingham that are participating in this year’s events:
-Bertram A. Hudson K-8 School
-Hemphill Elementary School
-Huffman Middle School
-Robinson Elementary School
-West Center Street Head Start
“We will have puppet shows that will teach pedestrian safety, school bus safety and car rider safety. We will have a coloring contest on safe ways to go to school,” said Sandra Abston of West Center Street Head Start.
A number of schools in the area will be rallying together to coordinate supervised walks to school. Others will be discussing, showing videos and conducting activities to help teach children about the importance of walking and how to do so safely in our community safely.
The idea for the campaign started in Chicago back in 1997 as it was then dubbed National Walk Our Children to School Day. It started as an event to raise awareness about making roadways more pedestrian friendly. Just a few years later, in 2002, there were roughly 3 million participants around the world. Just a year after that, the Chicago-based event went international and was changed to International Walk to School Day. Later on in 2005, legislation was passed that would offer federal funding to States that needed help with making their roadways more pedestrian friendly.
During this event, parents are urged to get out and get moving with their children. Make sure to practice and preach pedestrian safety tips, including making eye contact with drivers before crossing the road, never walking alone, always being aware of their surroundings and looking left and right before and during their trek across a roadway.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were approximately 1,300 children pedestrians under the age of 15 who were killed in 2009 in the U.S. The NHTSA estimates that another 179,000 child pedestrians were injured in these types of accidents. These incidents are preventable if we can raise awareness in motorists about these young walkers and if we can help to educate young pedestrians about safe traveling habits.
Last year, there were nearly 4,000 events held for International Walk to School Day, we can only hope that this event continues to grow and children learn how to travel safely on our roads.
ALDOT and AAA Focus on Causes and Solutions for Pedestrian Accidents in Alabama, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, September 27, 2011
Back-to-School Brings Risk of Child Injuries in Tuscaloosa, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, August 22, 2011