According to statistics, road accidents involving pedestrians have become increasingly common as more and more cars hit the nation's already congested roads. With cases of irresponsible driving, driving under the influence, car crashes and road rage skyrocketing over the past decade, the streets have become less safe for everyone. Imagine how much more dangerous it is for children. Now more than ever, parents, teachers and other concerned adults should be aware of how to teach children pedestrian safety rules.
Here are the rules that you may teach children for making sure that they cross the road safely.
- Instruct the child that he or she has to cross the street with an adult. Children may appear to be too short to be easily spotted by drivers especially those driving trucks. Having an adult around will certainly reduce the chances of accidents occurring along the highway. A policeman, teacher or traffic officer would be more than willing to help a child cross the street if you yourself can't be there personally.
- Children should know when to cross the street properly. Even in the presence of adults, ask your child if it is the right time to cross the street. Most intersections and crosswalks have Walk and Don't Walk signs on them so it should be fairly easy for them to spot as the signs change. This would also train them to be more attentive of the sign and other traffic rules in the future.
- Always look to the left and right and left again before crossing the street. Though you may know for sure that a certain lane is going a certain direction, you'll never know when a errant driver is running an opposite way. It never hurts to look the other way. It only takes a few seconds and it's something that could definitely help save a life.
- When crossing, walk briskly but don't run. Running can surprise other incoming cars. But walking too slowly is also dangerous.
- Walk along the sidewalk when going the length of a street. Sidewalks are elevated from the driving surface to protect pedestrians from untoward accidents. It's also best to walk on the side that's against the flow of traffic, so that you can see oncoming cars.
- Never do anything that may distract you when crossing the road. While playing with a new doll may be fun, it's certainly something that's not ideal when walking across the middle of the road. One must keep full attention on everything that's happening on the road. With cell phones becoming more common, make it habit to remind your children to not use the phones to send messages while crossing the street.
- Never assume that the driver can see you. A lot of drivers have been known to do things that distract them from making good driving decisions. Texting and cell phone calls have, in fact, been blamed for a spike in accidents. Be on the safer end and err on the side of caution.
Pedestrian safety rules are an integral part of our daily lives. It's best to start them young. The habits and lessons they learn now will certainly be remembered for many years to come.