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A driver's duty of care toward child pedestrians

Any Fullerton resident who has spent time around a young child knows that at the very least kids can be unpredictable. One minute they may be quietly playing with a toy and the next minute they may be running toward the door, looking for a means of escape. The unpredictable and impulsive nature of young children is one of the reasons that they are often involved in injury-causing accidents.

Because children are collectively capricious the law seeks to protect them by raising others' duties of care when they are around kids. For example, if a driver is operating their motor vehicle in a place where they see children their duty of care is elevated from where it would otherwise be. The driver is in a better position to react to the erratic behavior of a child than the child may be able to do if their emotions and feelings compel them to engage in behaviors that are anything but safe.

This particularly true when drivers must operate near young children, such as in school zones and near parks and other places of activity. As children age the expectation that they know how to safely cross roads and behave near traffic increases; it is when children are under the age of 10 that the heightened duty of care applies to drivers in their vicinities.

Vehicle accidents involving child pedestrians often have tragic ends and the law seeks to prevent these incidents from every occurring. Drivers must be aware of their surroundings at all times and that includes exercising extra vigilance when they are near children or places children often visit.

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Law Offices of Steven M. Hanna, P.C.
141 West Wilshire Ave.
Suite B
Fullerton, CA 92832

Phone: 714-872-9165
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