Pedestrians have the right of way, but not every driver pays attention or respects that, so it’s essential to teach your kids about pedestrian safety. Did you know that children crossing the street is the second leading cause of unintentional injuries for children ages five to fourteen?
Even with crosswalks, school crossing guards, and school safety zones, children still get injured by moving vehicles. Teaching your children about pedestrian safety will decrease the risk of them getting hurt.
How to Talk to Kids Under 10
It’s hard to explain to younger kids how speeds and distance work. That’s why they need an adult to help them cross the street. Teach them that pedestrian safety means never crossing the street without an adult, like a crossing guard, babysitter, or older sibling.
How to Talk to Kids Over 10
1. Cross the Street at Intersections
Older kids can more easily judge distance and determine if they have enough time to cross the street. But they still need to be very careful. If they can, they should cross the street at intersections. The least amount of pedestrian-related accidents happen at intersection crosswalks and street corners that utilize traffic signals.
2. Look Both Ways
Look left, right, and left again before crossing the street, even if traffic signals give you the right of way. They can’t trust drivers always to pay attention, so they need to look out for themselves.
3. Walk, Don’t Run
Your kids need to walk when they cross the street. They might want to run to get across the road faster, but walking is safer. They’re more likely to trip and fall in the street if they run.
4. Use Sidewalks or Paths
Your kids should always use sidewalks or paths to cross the street. If there are none, they should walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. It’s the next-safest way to cross the street.
5. Keep Eyes and Ears on the Road
Most kids enjoy listening to music and texting, but it’s dangerous to have headphones on or not watch their surroundings while crossing the street. It’s important to hear if someone yells for them or a car honks at them. If they can’t hear or see, they might get unnecessarily injured.
6. Make Eye Contact with Drivers
Finally, drivers are supposed to give pedestrians the right of way. But in today’s digital age, that doesn’t always happen. Teach your kids to make eye contact with the driver before crossing the street. Eye contact ensures that the driver sees them and will wait for them to cross the street.
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton
Teaching your kids about pedestrian safety will undoubtedly help protect them, but it’s not a fool-proof plan. Was your child hit by a car while crossing the street? Being hit by a car is a traumatic experience that usually results in injuries and medical bills. Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton can help you. We’ve represented clients for over 25 years, and we can help you and your family through this challenging time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for your free case evaluation.