An eight-year-old Tampa girl was killed earlier this month after she was hit by an SUV on Busch Boulevard.
The third grader underwent surgery after suffering internal and head injuries, but passed away shortly after.
According to police, the child was struck in the innermost lane of eastbound traffic, while she attempted to cross the six-lane roadway.
She was with her 12-year-old sister at the time of the accident. The girls were trying to cross the very busy road at the intersection of Busch Boulevard and 14th Street.
There is no crosswalk at that intersection and the speed limit is 45 miles per hour.
Tampa Police claim the driver of the SUV will not face charges.
Sadly, pedestrian accidents involving children are not uncommon. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children under the age of 16 accounted for 23 percent of pedestrians injured in traffic collisions in 2010. In addition to these numbers, more than 20 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 9 were killed in pedestrian traffic accidents. Children are at an increased risk when it comes to crossing the street, so it is important to remind your children regularly of how to be safe pedestrians.
The following are some tips that can keep your child safer on the streets:
1. Always cross the street using crosswalks and traffic signals.
2. Wear bright or reflective clothing to boost visibility to drivers.
3. Before crossing the street – stop, look and listen. Encourage children to stop first before crossing an intersection, look left, right and left again before crossing and listen for approaching vehicles. As they cross the street, they should continue to look and listen.
4. Whenever possible, walk on sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, remind children to walk facing oncoming traffic and to stay as far to the left of the street as possible.
5. Do not wear headphones when crossing the street. You need to be able to listen for approaching vehicles.
6. If you need to use your cell phone, stop walking.
Pedestrian accidents across the U.S. are a leading cause of injury and death to children under the age of 16. By teaching your child pedestrian safety tips you can help prevent a tragic accident from occurring. However, some accidents are entirely unavoidable. If your child has been the victim of a pedestrian accident in Tampa Bay, a Tampa Pedestrian Accident Attorney at Whittel & Melton can help you through this difficult time. Contact us today online or call 813-221-3200 for a free consultation and to discuss the facts of your case.