This week we covered the tragic story of 14-year-old Mark Harding Jr., who died in a Texas auto-pedestrian accident while skateboarding with a friend in College Station. The boys were crossing a service road late at night when Harding was struck by a DPS cruiser. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and died as a result of severe head trauma soon after the collision.
What can we learn from this tragic accident? While many parents ensure their teens understand pedestrian and bicycle safety, fewer people teach their children to be just as safe when skateboarding.
Let’s start with some simple safety tips:
- Wear protective gear. Whether you are at a skate park or just rolling down your driveway, you absolutely need to wear a well-fitting helmet to protect against brain injuries. In addition, wearing slip-resistant shoes, wrist guards, and knee pads can also help reduce the risk of injury.
- Stay visible at night. This tip goes for any night traveling; wear light colors, clothing and gear which reflects, and avoid dimly lit streets.
- Know how to fall correctly. Not knowing how to fall can lead to broken wrists and other serious injuries. If you feel that you have lost control of your skateboard, squat and fall sideways with your arms tucked in. You will have a shorter distance to fall and avoid a more serious collision.
- Younger kids should have parental supervision. Skateboarding isn’t recommended for children under five, and children under ten shouldn’t skateboard without parental supervision.
- Don’t ride in the street. Check your local city laws regarding skateboarding on sidewalks. Also check to see if your area has a skate park where you can safely practice tricks and meet others interested in the sport.
- Try new tricks slowly and in a controlled environment. Skateboard tricks can be fun and rewarding, but be sure to only try the tricks you are ready for – and always wear protective gear while attempting them. Never attempt “daredevil” tricks that could end in serious injury, because there’s a good change they will.
Has your child been injured in a Dallas-area auto-pedestrian accident while riding a skateboard? Speak with a Dallas pedestrian injury attorney today by calling 1-877-405-4313 to learn the options available to you and your family.