With summertime in full swing and the kids out of school, there are many more children playing outside. This means that parents should be aware of the increased risk of California car accidents involving children and how to avoid the potential injuries that result from them.

Here are some great tips from the Santa Monica child accident lawyers at Steinberg on what to tell your kids this summer:

  1. Texting and walking: We know that it's usually texting and driving that is focused on, but not paying attention while roaming the neighborhood can be just as dangerous. Looking down at a cell phone while engrossed in a digital conversation can take a child or young adult's eyes off of oncoming cars or vehicles that are backing out of driveways. Tell your kids to always watch where they are going or to leave the cell inside. 
  2. Back-over accidents: Many children don't realize that because of their small size, it makes it hard for drivers to see them - even if a child can see a driver. Remind your kids about the importance of never sitting in or playing near a driveway. 
  3. Getting in and out of the car: Children should be aware of the "right" way to get to and from a vehicle, especially when a child is not riding with his or her parent. Kids should always let the driver know that they are exiting the car, and make sure that this is done after the vehicle has come to a complete stop and is in park. The driver also should remind children to always walk in front of the vehicle, where they can be spotted easier. 
  4. Never play in or around cars: Children should never use a vehicle as a playground, even if the keys are not in the ignition. Never let a child play with the steering wheel, windows, or any other part of a car, and make sure that the doors are locked and the keys out of the reach of curious kids. 
  5. Never dart in between parked cars: This tip can be hard to remember if a ball has rolled into the street or kids want to cross quickly to the other side. Even though it may appear to the child that no other cars are coming, it is extremely difficult for drivers to anticipate a child emerging from in between two parked cars. It's better to ask an adult to grab the stray ball and to always use a crosswalk. 
  6. Helmets can save lives: Whether your child prefers a bicycle, scooter, or skateboard, a helmet can be key to protecting your child from a potentially fatal traumatic brain injury. 

Communication is the key to having a safe summer, but if you need additional information on child car accidents and how to prevent them, don't hesitate to contact the lawyers at Steinberg at 800.989.6385. If you or someone you know has a child who has been injured in a car accident, order a free copy of Seven Biggest Mistakes That Can Ruin Your California Injury Case. You also can fill out this online form to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.
Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982