Even though Covid19 has tweaked the way we’ll trick or treat this year, staying safe on the streets is still top of mind for me as a mom.
It was my 10-year old who made me aware of how unaware kids are of being seen on the streets. Even now that he’s older, I’m still compelled to shout out “watch for traffic”, even though I know how capable he is. It’s not his smarts or competence that I’m questioning actually – it’s that kids are so easily distracted…and sadly drivers are too.
You’d think mom-worry would be enough to keep me concerned and vigilant - but no - I needed to look up pedestrian safety and collision statistics to kick my panic up a notch. Did you know that pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists make up 24% of seriously injured road users every year (Canada Safety Council)? And even more concerning, 75% of pedestrian traffic accidents happen at night, with an extremely tragic 19% of children aged 14 and under being killed in pedestrian traffic accidents. This data from NHTSA (2017) made my heart swell and stomach sink, vowing to never let my child go out on the streets again.
OK. Reality check. We all know that both my kid and his parents would not willingly want to stay home on lockdown Covid-style if we have a choice, right? So what’s a parent to do? Well I discovered these 8 simple rules to help keep kids seen in high-traffic areas. While nothing is new here, it’s still a good reminder in the hustle and bustle of every day life:
STREET SAFETY IS IN YOUR HANDS
8 Rules (or Reminders) To Help Keep Kids Safer on the Streets1. OBEY ROAD RULES: cross at intersections or in pedestrian safety zones, not in between parked cars or jaywalking across the road. The extra seconds it takes to cross properly could very well save lives.
2. WEAR REFLECTIVE OR BRIGHT CLOTHES: Especially at night, but hey, a little extra visibility in the glare of sunlight won’t hurt either.
3. STAY ALERT: Be extra vigilant at both intersection and non-intersection locations, especially in urban areas. You just never know what drivers are really doing behind the wheel.
4. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD: Look up from phones and other electronics when crossing the street until you get to the other side, and turn the volume down on headphones.
5. GO GREEN: Cross at the beginning of a green ‘walk’ light at traffic lights. Do not cross once the “Don’t Walk” signal begins to flash or once the traffic light has turned yellow. Most drivers want to sneak a turn before a red light, losing focus on who else is on the road.
6. CONNECT WITH DRIVERS: Make sure drivers see you before you cross and exchange a signal to be sure.
7. WALK THE OTHER WAY: Walk against traffic along roadsides without sidewalks or on rural roadways where streetlights are few and far between.
8. DON’T ASSUME: Never assume that motorists will yield, even if you have the right-of-way.
Doing whatever we can to be aware of and teach safety rules to kids helps navigate road safety (and my worry) that little bit more. Ultimately, it was this fear that led me to create Zapped reflective clothing in the first place, adding a layer of 360-degree visibility so all of our kids can PLAY HARD and BE SEEN more safely on the streets.
So this Halloween, please BE SEEN and STAY SAFE. We’re happy to offer 20% off our fully reflective gear for some added peace of mind:
Use code BESEEN2020 and check out our IG for rad reflective costumes.