For young children throughout Atlanta, car accidents are one of the top causes of fatalities. While kids may lose their lives as passengers in vehicles, they are also at special risk of becoming involved in a fatal pedestrian accident. Recently, the Wall Street Journal took a close look at some of the potential reasons why children are one of the demographic groups most likely to die in pedestrian accidents.
Drivers need to be aware that children on the roads are especially vulnerable to being hurt or even killed in a car accident. Motorists traveling through school zones or residential areas should be on the lookout for young kids. If a driver is not paying attention or is careless in some way that causes him or her to hit a child, an Atlanta car accident lawyer can represent the young victim and his or her family.
Attention Span Issues Put Kids at Risk of Atlanta Crashes
The Wall Street Journal reports that children age 10 and under “may not have the cognitive resources to notice objects that appear out of the blue.” When a child reaches the age of 11, his cognitive resources change and the young person becomes just as capable of adults at perceiving unexpected things. For young children, however, it is common to fail to recognize objects that appear at times when their attention is focused elsewhere.
The inability to see objects outside of your area of focus is called perceptual blindness or termed inattention. Researchers in Germany decided to test the extent of perceptual blindness in younger children.
A total of 480 school children are included in the German study. Children were asked to view several videos including 30-second scenes showing basketball players. The kids were told that they should only watch the players who had white jerseys on and that they should count the number of passes that these particular players made.
In the third video that the children were asked to watch, a man in a gorilla costume appeared on the basketball court for nine seconds. The man came into the scene from the right of the screen, walked across the basketball court, and left the image off the side of the screen.
After viewing the videos, the children were asked if they spotted anything unusual. A total of 43 percent of the kids said that they observed the gorilla on the basketball court. Older children were more likely to notice the gorilla. For example, 15 percent of kids aged eight noticed the gorilla. A total of 31 percent of nine year olds noticed, and 32 percent of 10-year-olds said that they saw the gorilla. For kids between the ages of 11 and 15, a full half said that they saw the gorilla.
The younger kids did not see the gorilla because their brain attention was not suddenly able to shift. The same phenomenon might put these young children at risk if they are walking somewhere and focused on something else when a car suddenly comes up. The fact that kids experience this perceptual blindness could help to explain why as many as 25 percent of all kids killed in traffic accidents are pedestrians at the time of the incident. Drivers need to be on the lookout for these kids and make sure they are not putting them in jeopardy.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury in a motor vehicle crash. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.