In 2011, a total of 677 bicyclists were killed in car collisions. Children aged 14 and younger accounted for 9 percent of those fatalities. 69 percent of those fatalities were by male children.
Drivers are always expected and required to show a reasonable amount of care in regards to others on the road. However, when there are children involved, an excess amount of care is required in order to ensure both the safety of the driver and the child. Since children are unlikely to fully understand the wait of their actions, they are held to a lower standard than drivers are. This standard can vary a bit depending on the age of the child.
For example, a 15 year old should know to watch out for other vehicles on the road. However, a 5 year old is likely to forget this and just go rushing out into the street without a second thought.
That is why when children are spotted or when driving in a place frequented by children, drivers are required to be more careful with their driving. Drivers who fail to show the extra care necessary will be liable for any injuries the child may have received or in the worst case scenario, their wrongful death.
Does that mean the driver is always liable in bicycle-car collisions involving children?
Not necessarily. Even with extra care, children can be very unpredictable and sometimes this causes an accident that a driver had no way of predicting. In these cases, it is not the drivers fault because they have made the effort despite it not being enough to protect the injured child. That aside, the age of a child can vary the amount of care necessary or result in a case where both are to blame for the accident.
How do you show extra care on the road?
Firstly, you need to very aware of your surroundings, especially with the child’s actions. Children can rush into traffic without a second thought or get easily startled by loud noises. Despite their unpredictability, just keeping an eye on them can give you enough of an idea of where they are compared to where you are. If you are in an area frequented by children, you need to really look around for children running about.
Secondly, you should probably slow down! It’s much easier to stop in time if you are going a bit slower than normal. Most children frequented area require a lower speed for this very reason.
If you or your child has been involved in a bicycle-car collision, don’t hesitate to get the legal help! After such a terrible experience, you shouldn’t have to go it alone. Here at All Injuries Law Firm, we are dedicated to getting you any financial compensation you may be entitled to and need to recover after your accident. Contact us today for a free case review!