Schools reopen in NSW and children return on Tuesday 29 January 2019.
According to the NSW Centre for Road Safety, 11 children were killed on NSW roads in 2018 (1 child under the age of 5 and 10 between 5 and 16 years of age) and about 1,000 children sustained serious injuries in a car accident. This may not include deaths indriveways or other places not categorised as roads or areas open to the public but does include children killed or injured either as a passenger in a motor vehicle, a pedestrian or cyclist.
Over the last 40 years we have acted for many children injured in car accidents or parents of those children tragically killed in car accidents. We have helped children who can no longer walk because of their injuries, or kids who have brain damage from a head injury and we have seen hundreds of broken legs and arms. While we are happy to take instructions and act for anyone involved in a car accident, we would prefer there were no deaths or injuries on our roads at all.
Here are some of the things our staff want to tell drivers based on cases we have had over the years:
- Slow down when you approach a school – remember most schools have a 40kmph speed limit
- If there are kids about (playing in the park or in a front garden) – keep an eye out, kids do silly things (like chasing a ball onto the street without looking for cars)
- If you see a school bus – slow down, kids get off the bus and may not look carefully before crossing the road.
- Buckle up before starting the car – seat belts save lives
- Don’t look at your phone, don’t play with the car stereo, don’t be distracted – keep a proper lookout at all times
To kids we would say:
- Look both ways before crossing the road – cross at a pedestrian crossing and always obey the traffic signals
- Keep your headphones off or ear buds out – be aware of what is going on around you
- If you are riding a bike, wear a helmet. Ride on the path not the road (children under the age of 16 are allowed to ride on the footpath)
- Beware of driveways – the driver of a car reversing down a driveway may not be able to see you
To parents we would say:
- Hold your children’s hands as they cross the road – if you have one child walking and the other in a stroller, get your older child to hold onto the stroller by the handle and put your hand over theirs and keep a good grip on both
- Ensure your kids wear a seatbelt or helmet even if the journey is short you want to create a good habit
- If you are picking your child up from the bus stop – wait on the side of the road where the bus will stop, not on the other side of the road
- Always, ALWAYS talk to your kids about road safety
If you or anyone you know is injured has been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, and to arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, please call Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 46 2359, or alternatively make an online enquiry
Written by Belinda Cassidy
Belinda Cassidy holds the position of Special Counsel at Stacks Goudkamp. She had previously held the position of Principal Claims Assessor at the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) for 18 years, and currently holds an appointment as a Claims Assessor under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act.