Warm weather is here and with it you see more and more children playing outdoors, in their yards, and at the park. It means that summer vacation is right around the corner.

It also means that drivers and parents should be extra vigilant when keeping an eye on children. Sometimes they run into traffic without looking, perhaps after a ball, playing tag, or crossing to an ice cream truck. Accidents where children run suddenly into the road have been labeled child “dart-out” cases.

An unfortunate reminder of this came Tuesday night in Roanoke County when a three-year-old child was struck by a car while running from an apartment yard to the playground at an elementary school across the street. Luckily, this child was not seriously injured and the driver was not charged.

As a general rule, if you are driving at a safe speed and practicing proper driving habits, liability can be avoided. But children are unpredictable, so it’s important for both drivers and parents to remember these important tips for keeping children safe.

Drivers
• Go the speed limit and obey signs and signals
• Be extra cautious around schools, playgrounds, parks, bus stops and other places that children frequent
• Stay off your cell phone while driving
• Slow at crosswalks

Parents
• Watch your children carefully, especially near busy roads
• Hold your child’s hand near roads and when crossing the street
• Talk to your child about stopping and looking both ways before crossing

Of course, not every child dart-out case will be avoided, even when both the driver and parent are watchful. But they can be reduced! If you are involved in such an accident, read the Virginia lawyer accident injury book that helps explain your rights.

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