Why your child is at risk for getting injured in a car crash - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Why your child is at risk for getting injured in a car crash

CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) - April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month. All it takes is one second to look down at your phone or the radio, and you can get in a crash. This time of year, we're all at high risk, especially kids.

A recent study out of a hospital in Philadelphia, presented at the annual meeting of The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, found pedestrian accidents with kids peak in the spring. Doctors say they happened most often when kids were left unsupervised, many times, near schools or bus stops.

WMBF News checked in with South Carolina Highway Patrol to see if that's the case here. In the past four years alone, more than 200 children, on foot, were hurt in a crash.

In South Carolina, March, April and May fall in the top five months for injuries in kids between the ages of 4 and 14. The peak months are actually October and August.

“When you're looking at October, you're looking at Halloween, I think that plays a big part in pedestrians being struck, especially kids, because that's who you've got out trick-or-treating,” said Cpl. Sonny Collins with South Carolina Highway Patrol. “Then, when you look into August, that's the beginning of school.”

South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers said our area is no stranger to kids getting injured in a traffic crash. On state roads, like Highway 17 and US-501, each year, an average of 56 child pedestrians are injured. That's not including neighborhood roads, like "The Farm."

"People very rarely stop at stop signs,” said neighbor Deborah Conary. ‘We are all responsible for children, whether they're our grandchildren or somebody else's, we are responsible for taking care of, or at least obeying the law so they can be safe."

Local troopers say it's important to drill in our childrens' heads to put up their own defense.

“If you do have a child, explain to them, you need to make sure you're seen,” said Cpl. Collins. “Don't walk right behind a vehicle, get back so the person can actually see you in the rear view mirror, wear something bright if you're gonna be at the bus stop, reflective so cars can see you, just those minor additions to what you're doing, could make a huge difference.”

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