You are here
Hold Their Hands and Save Yourself Unnecessary Heartache
With school beginning soon I want to remind parents that accidents can happen anywhere. Even in a daycare or school parking lot. I understand that mornings are rushed for parents with small children. They are juggling work and family and they are often in a hurry to get their kids to school or to daycare before their commute to work. Their phone may ring as they are struggling with seatbelts and booster seats. Parents are often distracted and their minds are often on the work that will confront them at the office.
This is a common scenario and I’d like to take this opportunity to remind parents to be particularly vigilant when dropping off children at daycare or preschool because it only takes a millisecond for a small child to step away from their parent and get hit by cars in the parking lot.
About 15% of insurance claims for automobile damage involve accidents in parking lots. Most of the accidents in parking lots involve pedestrians. One in five children of school age who are killed in traffic accidents are pedestrians. Many of these fatalities are because drivers do not see the kids as they back out of their parking spaces or driveways. Every week in the US, at least 50 children figure in accidents where they are hit by cars backing out of parking spaces or driveways, most of them are toddlers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1070 children were killed in motor vehicle crashed in 2014. Of the child fatalities, one-fifth were pedestrians. In this same year, 203 child pedestrians were struck by a vehicle. Fifty-nine (59%) percent of child pedestrians struck by automobiles were killed during daylight hours.
If you will be dropping off or picking up your kids, park farther from the main entrance where there are less cars jostling for space. Never leave your children unattended. Don’t pick up your phone or check your email while you are parking your car, while you are backing out of the parking lot, or while you are dropping off or picking up your kids from the daycare center. Hold your child’s hand. Little kids often run around their parent’s car during the daycare drop off or pick-up. Many parents overlook the dangers that this poses for children.
This is a personal topic for me. I have seen the heartache of a family who’d lost a child who was hit by a car in a daycare parking lot. An older brother, a high school senior, picked up his little brother and sister from daycare. As he was helping his younger sister buckle up in her booster seat, he did not notice his brother run toward the back of his car. A lady, pulling out of the parking lot was on her phone, talking with someone. She did not notice the small child. She didn’t even know that she had hit the small child. The brother ran after the car and pounded on its window, asking for help for his brother whose head was crushed by the car’s tire. The child never regained consciousness. During the deposition, the 17-year old brother wept as he told what happened on that day. He felt an enormous weight of guilt. Their family experienced a huge emotional void because of the loss.
I have learned from my years of experience fighting to obtain justice for victims of car accidents, financial compensation cannot even begin to ease the memory of the pain, or the feelings of guilt and loss. It would be better if such accidents did not happen at all. However, if tragedy does strike, having a competent and experienced personal injury lawyer can ensure that the family is paid compensation for medical bills and for the pain and suffering they experience from parking lot accidents such as these.Parents, pay attention, be vigilant, be careful, watch where you’re going. Accidents can and do happen anywhere, even in a daycare center parking lot.