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Florida Child Pedestrian Accidents Linked to Children’s Inability to Judge Speed

Our Miami personal injury attorneys are repeatedly reminded that kids are at the greatest risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident.  While all Florida car accidents pose a serious risk of harming children, pedestrian accidents are a particular threat because of the limits of children’s experience and ability to assess traffic-related risks.  Many child pedestrian accidents occur because children are less attentive, but recent research suggests that even attentive children are prone to step into the path of traffic.  Our compassionate child pedestrian accident lawyers recognize that nothing is equivalent to the pain and anguish that results from serious injury or the death of one’s child.

A recent study reveals that primary school age children cannot accurately judge the rate of traffic moving over twenty miles per hour.  The researchers analyzed the visual acuity of a hundred primary school age children and evaluated the speed of approaching vehicles that primary school age children could detect.  The study revealed that adults can reliably estimate vehicle speed up to fifty miles per hour.  However, children’s estimates of the speed of an approaching vehicle become inaccurate at speeds of over twenty miles per hour if the vehicle is five seconds away.

The author of the study at the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway explains “This is not a matter of children not paying attention, but a problem related to low-level visual detection mechanisms, so even when children are paying very close attention, they may fail to detect a fast approaching vehicle.”

This new research can help promote changes designed to reduce fatal child pedestrian accidents.  The use of simulators can help children develop their skills in judging the speed of an approaching vehicle.  This study also can guide public entities in safer roadway development.  The inability of children to accurately judge the rate of traffic means that measures should be taken to prevent Florida child pedestrian accidents, which may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Reducing speed limits in residential areas;
  • Posting “Children at Play” signs near parks and other areas frequented by children;
  • Installing traffic control devices in areas where child pedestrians are frequently present; and
  • Increasing law enforcement patrols and enforcement of traffic laws.

This study is significant because many pedestrian accidents are caused by distracted drivers, speeding motorists, or DUI.  This new evidence suggests that negligent drivers pose an enhanced risk to kids because of natural perception limits related to their age.

If your child is struck by a motor vehicle while walking or playing, the Miami Personal Injury Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano offer the assistance you need to obtain the results you desire.  With over 130 collective years of experience representing policyholders across South Florida, our firm provides legal representation of unmatched excellence.  Contact our firm as soon as possible to start on the road to protecting your legal rights.  Our firm received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and was ranked as a top firm in South Florida by the Miami Herald.   Put our motor vehicle accident lawyers to work on your case.  Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or you can visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.


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