Road Safety Rules You Need to Teach Your Kids as They Head Back to School
Although a glance at the calendar reveals that summer is not technically over, it definitely feels like summer fun has come to an end now that most schools are back in session. With kids heading to school, it’s important that you teach them how to stay safe on the road, especially when their mode of transportation to or from school is their feet.
Walking to school is a great way to get kids’ blood pumping and to help them get ready for their day of learning, but it also requires focus and awareness. Typically, a walk to school means interacting with stressed out drivers, heavy traffic, and parents trying to figure out the confusing school parking lot — in other words, a lot of stuff is going on that your kids need to navigate.
In order to help keep kids safe when walking to and from school, Freddie Tubbs, guest writer on the National Motorists Association blog, recommends that kids know to check that it’s clear in every direction before they cross the street. Be sure to practice with them before you let them try it on their own, he adds.
Running across the street is a very unsafe idea, and kids should understand how traffic signals work, as well as only cross at crosswalks, notes Tubbs.
“Your children should never cross a road with their headphones on, talking to someone or doing anything else that might overwhelm their hearing enough so that they can’t hear the traffic. Teach them to focus only on listening and looking around as they cross the road. Even if they can’t see a car, they will be able to hear it if they pay attention,” stresses Tubbs.
What your child wears can also contribute to his or her safety.
“Wear lightly colored or reflective clothing at night and brightly colored clothing during the day,” advises AAA. “Stay in well-lit areas, especially when crossing the street. If possible, make eye contact with drivers in stopped vehicles to ensure they see you before you cross in front of them.”