Children age 5-11 are at the greatest risk for vehicle-pedestrian crashes because of their limited developmental skills. Ten things to keep in mind about children in traffic...
1. Young children have difficulty looking for oncoming traffic due their short
stature being blocked by parked cars, bushes, etc.
2. Children often have difficulties telling where a sound (like a siren) comes
3. Children often lack a sense of danger.
4. They are often restless and have trouble waiting for traffic signals.
5. They have trouble understanding complex chain of events.
6. They have trouble judging speed and distance of oncoming cars.
7. They tend to only focus on things that interest them the most.
8. Children often mix fantasy with reality.
9. Children believe that grownups will look out for them.
10. Children often imitate inappropriate behavior of peers.
Teach children How to Cross the Street Safely
1. Select a safe place to cross the street.
2. Scan for Traffic – Look Left, Look Right, Look Left Again
- Parents must teach their children to scan for vehicles properly.
- Watch for cars crossing the sidewalk at driveways.
- Watch for cars turning at intersections.
3. Wait for a safe distance between cars before crossing the street.
- Avoid situations where you have to run across the street.
- Cross only at pedestrian cross walks or intersections.
4. Identify the direction of traffic and objects that may block your ability to see traffic or drivers to see you.
- Will traffic be coming from both directions?
- What objects stop me from seeing possible vehicles? (i.e. hills, bushes, trees, signs, etc.)
5. Children need to understand that:
- Cars may not appear to be going fast, but it is hard to judge the speed of a car from a stationary place – especially for a child.
- Vehicles cannot stop in place. It takes time for them to slow down and stop!
- Even though you can see the car, it does not mean the driver can see you.