It is a terrifying for parents when their child runs ahead of them and they fear a fast car will hit their little one if they attempted to cross the road by themselves. That’s why it is important to teach them the importance of road safety from a young age.
Here are just some ways you can educate your youngsters so they are less likely to be involved in an accident.
According to road safety charity Brake, you can teach your little ones how to stay safe with its ABC campaign. A stands for awareness, such as knowing traffic can hurt people; B is for behaviour and understanding what to do; and C is for choice in determining how you act at the roadside.
It suggests teaching A and B from the age of two upwards, and those eight and above will be more able to understand C and begin learning how to cross roads by themselves.
However, children under eight should hold an adult’s hand at all times because they do not understand speed and distance of moving cars and are more likely to act on impulse. They are also distracted around play and do not fully grasp danger or the concept of death.
What’s more, they are simply too small to see many hazards – and for drivers to see them –and their eyesight and hearing is still developing.
- Green Cross Code
From the age of five, parents should start teaching their youngsters about the Green Cross Code, so they can begin to understand how to make choices when walking, scooting or cycling on the pavement.
The Green Cross Code goes as follows – find a safe place to cross and stop just before the kerb; look around for traffic and listen; let any cars or bicycles pass, and only cross when it is safe to.
- High-visibility clothing
There are many different ways you can try to make your little ones understand the dangers of crossing roads by themselves. However, there is always the risk that a car veers off the road on to the pavement even when your little one is acting perfectly safely.
Therefore, it is a good idea to make your youngsters as visible as possible so that road users can see them at all times. The use of high-visibility jackets is extremely helpful at keeping your children safe, particularly in winter when it is dark and drivers are less able to see pedestrians.
- Talk to teenagers
These suggestions could dramatically reduce the chance of injury to your child, so they are worth implementing even when your youngster is a baby right through to them being teenagers.
Brake revealed that those aged between 14 and 18 are more likely to be hurt or injured on the road than anyone else, and road incidents are the biggest threat to this age group. Therefore, it is essential to reiterate road safety information to your children, no matter how old they are, as teenagers tend to think they not only know it all but are invincible.
Remind them of the dangers, look at road casualty data, discuss risks of driving, and drinking, taking drugs, using mobile phones and speeding on motorist and pedestrian behaviour.