Most children are not under direct adult supervision when they are walking around a parking lot, and that places them at grave risk of injuries in an accident, a new study says.
Parents pay less attention to their kids in parking lots, mindless of the great risks involved. The study spotlighting this was published in the Journal of Safety Research recently, and was conducted by researchers at the University of Alabama Birmingham. The study shows that parents are less likely to pay attention to their children in a parking lot, not realizing that there may be great risks involved.
In the study, researchers observed 124 children between the ages of 2 and 10 at a parking lot. These children were accompanied by adults, either parents or caregivers. The researchers found that more than 50 percent of the children actually got out of the car before the adult in the car. This placed the children at risk of walking about unsupervised, not realising the potential risk from motorists. The researchers also found that as many as 67 percent of the children were out of adult supervision at some point when they walked about the parking lot, and 90 percent were beyond the reach of an adult at some point after they got out of the car.
Every year, several accidents and injuries involving children in parking lots are reported. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alone shows that every year, accidents in parking lots cause as many as 5,000 injuries in children below the age of 14. As many as 205 children are killed annually in such accidents.
These accidents are caused because many adults are lulled into a false sense of complacency when they reach their destination and have to accompany their child into the building from the parking lot. Parents may believe that the risk of an injury affecting their child is minimal, and that they are in a safe zone when they are off the road, but nothing could be further from the truth.
In a parking lot, a motorist driving around looking for a parking space may not be alert enough to spot a pedestrian, especially younger pedestrians below the age of 5 who may actually fall in the motorist’s blind spot. Motorists backing their vehicles out of their parking spaces may also not notice child pedestrians quickly darting behind the car. Even with safety systems like back up cameras, the motorist may not be able to take evasive action to avoid the child in time. Remember, motorists in the parking lot may be distracted by their cell phones and may not be looking out for your child.
Make sure that you hold on to your child even after you have reached your destination and are walking across a parking lot.
The Indianapolis complex accident lawyers at Montross Miller are dedicated to the representation of pedestrians involved in accidents in the Indianapolis region and across Indiana.