Pedestrian Road Rules for Kids
When a child leaves the house, parents need to trust that they will be safe. Pedestrian road rules for kids are important to enforce even if your child is simply walking down the block. After all, one in every five children under 15-years-old who are killed in road crashes are pedestrians, not drivers or passengers.
The thought of your kids walking to their bus stop or heading to their friend’s house can be scary after hearing a statistic like the one above. So, let’s dedicate this blog post to pedestrian road rules for kids. Below are a few tips to teach your kids to help ensure their safety.
Practice Active Supervision
Before we get to road rules for kids, here’s one for you first. If you are supervising a child near the road, watch them vigilantly. According to a study in Psychological Science, young kids lack the ability to properly gauge speed and distance, which contributes to pedestrian accidents. This means that some children will require assistance as they cross the road. This includes any young child under ten years old and some children who have disabilities. Each child’s needs will vary based on their development level. Be mindful of the children you’re taking responsibility for. That means actively watching their behaviors and walking with them to ensure their safety.
4 Pedestrian Road Rules for Kids
Rules for Crossing the Street
As early as possible, your kids should be taught to look both ways before crossing the road. In fact, they should look back, forth and back again: left/right/left or right/left/right. Remind them to continue looking until they are safely on the other side of the road.
It is also important for kids to realize that just because they are obeying the rules doesn’t mean that every driver will. They should not dart into the road, but instead look back and forth and make eye contact with the driver before crossing.
Use the Sidewalk
When there is a sidewalk available, your kid should use it. There shouldn’t really be any exceptions to this important rule. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, sidewalks can reduce pedestrian crashes by 90 percent. So it’s clear, being on the sidewalk reduces potential danger from cars and traffic. If your child must walk in an area that does not have a sidewalk, make sure they know to move in the direction facing traffic.
Crossing the street can be quite dangerous if you aren’t paying attention. When you discuss road rules for kids, teach your children to put away any potential distractions like cell phones and headphones. When crossing the street, full attention should be on the road.
Also, remember that children are very impressionable. Make an effort to be a good role model for children. You can do this by practicing what you preach. Put away your phones and any other devices when you are crossing the street.
Understand Crosswalks and Signals
Just like adults, children should know to only cross the street at designated crosswalks. They should also understand how to read walking signals. Parents should explain what red, yellow and green streetlights mean for drivers, and what walking signals mean for pedestrians. Have children keep a close eye on the walking signs and only cross when the signal tells them to. This should be the case even if it looks like no cars are coming. After all, cars can come out of a drive or around a turn quickly. As we mentioned before, cars do not always obey road rules. Sometimes the driver can be distracted, drowsy or even drunk. Therefore, both kids and adults should always look both ways when crossing the road, no matter what the signal indicates.