Almost 6,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Many of those pedestrians were adults. However, some of them were children who may not have known how to be safe around traffic. Most adults know how to stay safe as pedestrians, but young children need to be taught these safety skills.
Take your child for walks
One of the best ways to teach your child how to walk safely is by going for walks with your child. This way you can model safe behaviors while explaining these behaviors to your child.
Some behaviors to practice with your child, include:
- Walking on a sidewalk when one is available
- Facing traffic when walking where no sidewalk is available
- Stopping before stepping off a curb
- Looking left, right and left again before crossing the road
- Making eye contact with drivers before crossing the road
- Continuing to look both ways when crossing the road
Explain safe behaviors for playing near a road
Children should always practice safe habits when walking, but they should also be mindful of safe habits when playing near a road or driveway. Many children have been injured after darting out into the roadway after a toy. Children have also been hit when drivers backing out of a driveway do not see them.
Warn your child to never run out into the street. Young children should find an adult to retrieve any toys that end up in the roadway. Additionally, you should warn your child against playing in, around or under vehicles, even when they are parked in a familiar driveway.
When an adult is hit by a car, he or she can receive severe injuries. Because children are smaller, their injuries can be even more severe, and driver’s may not see then as easily as they may see adults walking. To prevent your child from being hit by a car, make sure he or she is supervised when near roadways and that he or she practices safe habits when walking and playing near the road. However, sometimes accidents happen anyway. If you child was hit by a car when walking, you may be able to receive compensation for your child's medical expenses.