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The most common time for children to be involved in a road accident is between 3-5pm. Whilst it isn’t surprising to learn that the majority of accidents happen during and after the school run when there are plenty of cars, buses and tired school children around and the roads are busy, it’s worth bearing in mind if your child is out there at that time.

While we can’t always be there to hold our child’s hand when they’re using the road, there are a few things you can do to make sure they are road safety aware. 

Here are a couple of tips on how to teach your child about road safety, and what steps you should take should they be involved in a road traffic accident.

Teaching children about road safety 

Children are amongst the most vulnerable road users as they are still learning about road safety. One way to teach them about the importance of road safety is to explain what could happen if they don’t pay attention to the rules of the road. 

Discussing with them in a non-frightening but sobering way about what would happen if they don’t cross the road safely, or if they don’t wear a helmet when they ride their bike, will make them aware of the risks and danger that comes with a road accident.

You can also teach them the steps they should take to avoid having an accident. Explain how they should cross the road as a pedestrian, how to stay safe when cycling on a bike and what everyone does (and doesn’t do) to stay safe while travelling as a passenger in a car. 

What you should do if your child is involved in a road traffic accident

Although we can do our best to teach children about road safety, unfortunately road traffic accidents can, and do happen. If your child is hurt in a road collision, these are the first steps you should take:

  1. Check to see if all parties involved in the accident are okay, and if they need any medical attention. 
  2. If no one is badly hurt, you can then exchange contact information with others involved.
  3. You should record the date and time of the accident, the name and address of the person responsible and report it to the police. Take photos if you think they may be useful later.

While your child may not seem hurt at first, they may experience pain from the accident later on and they are bound to be shocked. Symptoms of whiplash in children can take a while to appear, so it’s best to keep an eye on them for the next few hours and days following the accident to see if anything develops. If anything comes up, you should seek medical advice straightaway to ensure that your child receives the right treatment.

parking outside schools

Whose fault is it if a child has a road accident? 

As a parent, it’s normal to feel responsible if your child is involved in a road traffic accident. However, it’s important to remember that accidents can happen, and as they get older the likelihood of them walking on their own increases, and you cannot always be right by their side.

If the driver of a car was driving too fast or wasn’t paying enough attention to the road, then they are at fault for the accident. A child might look like they are at fault if they have run out into the road ‘without looking’, or if a driver has had to swerve to avoid hitting them but the courts are usually very unimpressed with drivers who injure children, especially in built up areas, and find them at least in some way to blame.

Hopefully these tips will give you a few ideas for how to teach your child about road safety and to limit their risk of having a road accident. However, if your child is injured, these steps will make sure you know what to do next. 

Author Bio: As a personal injury law firm, Thompsons Solicitors sees first-hand the affects a road traffic accident can have on victims and their families. To help you limit your risk of an accident, we have launched our Stay Road Safe campaign to promote road safety awareness. You can read more about our campaign, and how we support those making road traffic accident claims, on our website.

All images from Pixabay