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The dangers of the road are well known and have to be taken seriously. Within the United States, crashes are a major cause of injury and death. With this in mind, it is integral that children and young people are educated in dealing with traffic.
From looking both ways at traffic lights to understanding bike signs and noticing speed limits, there are a number of things for them to learn when it comes to the road. According to research, the average American driver is behind the wheel for more than 81 minutes, so education (for both drivers and pedestrians) is imperative.
The ABC of road safety
- A for awareness – Traffic is dangerous, and this is something that can be mentioned more and more as children get older. Consider telling them about dangers when walking and cycling, along with how some drivers text or drink while driving.
- B for behavior – This can sound simple but it’s important to aid children in knowing things like paths for people, road for traffic. Additionally, don’t run in the road, stay with a grown up at all times and wait for the green man before crossing.
- C for choice – It’s generally thought that under the age of 8, children cannot make their own choices. As they grow, though, parents and teachers have to press on about recognizing dangers to keep themselves – and others – safe.
5 key rules to press home
Try to keep teaching light when possible, so it’s necessary to focus on the right things. These rules are some of the most important.
The simplest rule to teach comes with traffic lights. Green means go, red means stop and yellow means slow down. From there it’s a case of showing the walk or walking man symbol to indicate safe crossing.
Stop, look, cross.
Once your child begins to walk home from school, or even if they’re just crossing the road to see a friend, they need to be taught to always look for signals and crossings. If there are none of these, then it’s things like look left and right before passing, and never crossing between stationary vehicles or at bends.
Staying inside a vehicle.
This goes from using a seat belt in the car to keeping arms inside vehicles at all times. On the school bus, they should never stand unless there is a rail to hold on to.
Bicycles with traffic, pedestrians against traffic.
This is a great one for kids who’ve just started to cycle. Teach them how bicycles should be on the right side of the road, while they should walk on the left to see the traffic.
There’s no rush.
This is crucial because children are more likely than anyone to get excited or rush. From not opening doors suddenly to staying calm when crossing the road, this can be a potential lifesaver.
Road safety is a piece of education that starts at home. The idea is to be honest but to make them cautious rather than scared. These five key rules will give a foundation to help your child be a safer road user.