In a collision, it is always the pedestrian who suffers, not the vehicle. Vulnerable road users include pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and, according to the Canada Safety Council, make up 24 percent of road users who are seriously injured or worse every year in traffic crashes. It goes without saying pedestrians are the largest group of victims among vulnerable road user casualties.
Doing whatever we can to be aware of safety rules and to teach them to our kids, helps navigate the road. Children most especially need to be aware of their surroundings because they’re smaller and can be harder to see. It is the responsibility of both driver and pedestrian to ensure each other’s safety by following some simple rules.
8 Rules To Help Keep Your Child Safe In High-Traffic Areas
- Obey the rules of the road – cross at intersections or in pedestrian safety zones, and not in between parked cars.
- Wear bright or reflective clothing when walking, especially at night.
- Be vigilant at both intersection and non-intersection locations, especially in urban areas.
- Look up from phones and other electronic devices when crossing the street, and turn the volume down on headphones.
- At a traffic light, cross at the beginning of a green light. Do not cross once the “Don’t Walk” signal begins to flash or once the light has turned to yellow.
- Make sure drivers see you before you cross.
- Walk against traffic along roadsides without sidewalks or on rural roadways.
- Never assume that motorists will yield, even if you have the right-of-way.
5 Rules For Motorists That Will Help Keep Children Safe:
- Always be on the lookout for, and yield to vulnerable road users, even if they don’t have the right-of-way.
- Always be aware of pedestrians, especially when turning.
- Always obey traffic signals and control signs.
- Pay particular attention to younger children playing on streets and to senior citizens crossing at intersections.
- Stay alert and slow down through residential streets and school zones.
It’s important to let children know that their safety is in their own hands. They can’t assume because it’s their turn to cross that drivers will stop. They should only cross streets when it’s safe to do so. It is so important to always be aware of our surroundings and teaching this to our kids as early as possible, both verbally and by following these rules ourselves, does a great deal to cement their safety awareness later on.
The best time to start teaching and reinforcing the rules of the road to your children is before they begin walking to school, to a friend’s house, or to a nearby store. Stress the importance of walking on the inside of the sidewalk, or in areas where there aren’t any sidewalks, as far away from the road as possible. Remind children to always make sure that the driver sees them before starting to cross the street and always be sure to lead by example.
Most kids don't want to wear safety vests out in the world, so why not consider buying everyday essentials, such as jackets, sneakers, hats and backpacks, from ZAPPED OUTFITTERS. Each article features microscopic glass beads embedded in the fabric that reflect light at night so your kids will be easy to spot in high-traffic areas at night and they’ll look rad!
Best of luck and have fun!
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