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Nearly one in five road traffic accident claims involve pedestrians or cyclists, new figures by National Accident Helpline show.
As a result, the legal services company has called for heightened attention on child safety, with young pedestrians and cyclists at greater risk. The news coincides with the start of Child Safety Week (23 - 29 June 2014), the annual campaign to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented.
According to the data from National Accident Helpline, last year around a fifth (18%) of queries related to road traffic accidents involved an injured pedestrian or cyclist.
Russell Atkinson, CEO of National Accident Helpline, said:
“It is a startling statistic that as many as one in five injuries in road traffic accidents actually involve a cyclist or pedestrian. This shows that it’s not just the drivers and passengers at risk but also those out and about. All too often, this means children playing in driveways or cycling along busy streets.
“Children are often more difficult for drivers to see, and listening to music on headphones or looking at your smartphone can be an additional hazard. This Child Safety Week, it’s more important than ever that parents talk to their children about the risks out there.”
In order to mark Child Safety Week, National Accident Helpline offers the following top tips to keep your children safe this summer.
1. Visibility Children are more difficult for drivers to see. Talk to your children about playing around cars and traffic. Whether on a bike or just playing outside, it’s important for children to know that a driver may not always see them. Consider using a high-visibility vest when out riding on the roads.
2. Driveways Warn your children about driveways. Children need to look out for vehicles reversing or driving out of driveways as they cycle or walk past, as well as being alert to vehicles turning onto driveways from the road.
3. Buses, vans and other large vehicles Large vehicles pose a greater risk for children due to an increased number of ‘blind-spots’. Make sure your child is aware of the risks and advise them not to play near buses, vans or lorries.
4. Stay aware Using headphones can make children playing outside unaware of risks, with the sounds coming through the headphones overpowering those coming from the street. Whilst parents usually know the importance of helmets and seat belts, they don’t always consider the implications of their child’s iPod. Encourage your child to leave their music at home when playing outside.
5. There’s more on the road than cars Your child might know to listen out for the sound of an oncoming car, but bicycles can also present a threat. Cyclists may not always obey the rules of the road and can travel at speed, including (illegally) on the pavement. Let your child know what to look out for, as well as listen out for, whilst playing outside.
For further tips and information, see for example the government-supported Think! campaign.
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