During the summer I’ve had many clients inquire about a recent ‘Ask the Expert’ radio show on driver and pedestrian safety tips. Feel free to share these tips with family and friends.
Here are tips for drivers:
- Kids all around: Drivers aren’t used to seeing crowded playgrounds and parks during the day but this all changes as we welcome summer. Remember that playground speed limits remain in effect year-round. When driving around playgrounds and parks, observe carefully. Small children are less predictable and harder to see than adults.
- Watch for clues: In residential areas, a hockey net or ball can mean that kids are playing nearby. Remember that a child could dash into the street at any moment. Pay attention and always anticipate the unexpected.
Here are pedestrian safety tips for parents to share with their children:
- Be a role model: Parents are the number one role models for their children so make sure you set a good example when teaching them about pedestrian safety. If your child sees you jaywalking, they will think it is okay to do and will do the same thing. Make sure you teach your child to cross at intersections that have a pedestrian crossing light or a marked crosswalk whenever possible.
- Make it fun: Make your road safety teaching fun while still treating it as a serious issue. For younger children, try an interactive game by having them point out all the traffic signs they see and ask if they know what they mean. For older children, remind them to put away their phones and remove their headphones when crossing the road.
- Focus on the basics: Kids will digest information about serious issues when it’s kept simple and relevant. Therefore, begin your pedestrian safety lessons with the key basics that you learned as a kid, which are still relevant today. A great example is how to cross at intersections: Stop: Before crossing, always stop at the curb. Make sure all vehicles have stopped. Look: Look left and right for oncoming vehicles. Then look again over your shoulders for vehicles that might be turning. Teach your kids to keep looking for approaching vehicles as they cross. Listen: Listen for approaching traffic that you can’t yet see. Make eye contact: Even if the walk signal is on, teach your children to make eye contact with drivers before they cross. Walk: Teach your kids to walk, never run, when crossing a road.
- Mark out safe areas: Focus on teaching your kids where to safely position themselves when they are around roads. Children should always walk on the inside edge of a sidewalk where they are less exposed to traffic. If there isn’t a sidewalk, teach your kids to walk facing oncoming traffic so they can see approaching vehicles and make eye contact with drivers. Children should avoid shortcuts through parking lots where drivers can often be distracted by more complex maneuvers.
If you like these tips and would like to see more of this and other safety tips, sign up for our monthly newsletter below or check out our Ask the Expert radio series.