A Lehigh Acres boy, 12, suffered extensive injuries after he was struck by a car recently on Alabama Road S. Authorities have indicated thankfully that the child’s injuries don’t appear life-threatening, though it’s not clear what his recovery time will be or whether he will endure lasting impact as a result of the crash.
Bicycle accident lawyers in Lehigh Acres understand that in this case, the driver of the car that struck the child will not be cited, as it is believed the child rode directly and unexpectedly into the path of the car.
Our fear is that as summer approaches, with more children riding their bikes around their neighborhoods, we will begin seeing more of these accidents. The Center for Urban Transportation Research with the University of South Florida reports that Lee County ranks in the top 10 in the state for number of bicycle deaths and injuries.
Florida has the highest rate of bicycle deaths in the country.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports that 46 of the 677 cyclists killed in 2011 throughout the U.S. were under the age of 15. Hundreds more youths were injured.
It goes beyond simply falling off a bike and getting a scraped knee. Children are increasingly being struck by vehicles and suffering serious injuries as a result.
Of course, riding a bicycle can be an enjoyable form of exercise for a child. But it’s imperative that parents teach their children the skills necessary to navigate the roads as safely as possible. Children need to be taught that bicycles are not toys – they are vehicles. Learning to use it as a form of transportation is a responsibility, and one they need to take seriously.
They also need to understand that not all motorists are going to be watching out for them or abiding by all traffic laws. For this reason, defensive riding is necessary.
Parents can do a number of things to further that goal before a child ever takes control of the handlebars. That includes purchasing a properly-fitted helmet for the child and making sure it’s worn every single trip. It also means buying a bicycle that is right for your child right now – not one that he or she will “grow into.” If the bike is too large, the child may be more apt to lose control of it.
Beyond that, small children (those under 10) should not ride on the road unless accompanied by an adult. The NHTSA also recommends:
–Teaching children to be predictable. Ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars. Movements should be properly signaled.
–Instructing child riders to remain alert at all times by not wearing earbuds or checking their smartphone while they ride.
–Making sure children know to always look before turning and to get off his or her bike and look both ways before crossing a street.
There is always a chance that a young cyclist could obey every rule and still become an accident victim. Our child injury lawyers are here to help.
Call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.
Car hits child on bike in Lehigh Acres, May 5, 2014, Staff Report, NBC-2
More Blog Entries:
Fort Myers Pedestrian Crashes Often in Working Class Neighborhoods, April 19, 2014, Lehigh Acres Bicycle Accident Lawyer Blog