Children can easily be involved in fatal or nonfatal pedestrian auto accidents. In general, they are small and do not pay attention to the road in the same way as adults do. Because they are small, they can be struck by a motor vehicle and can travel long distances airborne until they come to rest.
In one study, it was found that most children involved in a pedestrian motor vehicle accident were non-white and almost half had no insurance at all or had Medicaid insurance. Fractures and closed head trauma were the most likely injuries the child sustained. Femur fractures are more commonly seen in kids when compared to adults. In the study, it was felt that the speed limits in the areas where the children were killed were too high and that some places had sidewalks that were too narrow, not present or in a bad state of disrepair. There were often vehicles parked on both sides of the roadway which blocked the view of drivers who couldn’t see the kids jumping into the street. It was also felt that there should be school intervention, targeted toward students from low income families and nonwhite students.
In the US, there were 32,590 nonfatal injuries among kids age 0 to 14 years of age in 2006. Fortunately, it was noted that the number of nonfatal injuries in kids is going down, perhaps due to school instruction or other programs that teach kids to stay off the roadways. There has also been a decline in walking throughout the country.
The researchers felt that programs like Walk Safe, which is an elementary school program aimed to teach kids not to walk on the streets. This program has caused a demonstrable decrease in the number of injuries in children.
Other notable statistics include the fact that parking lots, sidewalks and driveways are common places where kids under the age of 3 get hit by a motor vehicle accident. Half of all injuries happen during back over incidents and these usually occur at home. Among pedestrian deaths, 74 percent occurred at non-intersection places. Among child pedestrian deaths, about 42 percent occur between 4 pm and 8 pm in the evening. School bus crashes made up a small number (13 total) of pedestrian deaths. Kids of low income who live or play in densely populated and urban areas have a higher risk of getting hit by a car.
There has been a drastic lessening of the number of children hit by a motor vehicle since 1969. This is because fewer and fewer kids are walking to school. Between 1969 and 2009, the number of kids walking to school dropped from 50 percent to 13 percent. This leaves fewer children to get hit by vehicles.
Two thirds of all pedestrian accidents in children happened to male children. The risk to poor children was up to 5.7 times that of middle class or upper class children.
Interventions that work to decrease the incidence of motor vehicle pedestrian accidents in kids include things like speed bumps to decrease speeding traffic and to have adult supervision whenever possible.