Teaching Road Safety to Kids and Teens: The Basics

11436987056_e460b15dfe_zTeaching road safety is always important, especially if you have young children. That’s why we’ve put together a post on topics like traffic safety and crossing the street, helping your child to stay safe when they’re around cars. Parents should always take time to teach kids the dangers of traffic, as well as easy solutions for walking near the road.

The ABCs

According to the Road Safety Week website, an organization dedicated to road safety education, it’s best to start young. Start with the ABCs, which are:

  • Awareness
  • Behavior
  • Choices

Children who are 2 to 8 years old should learn about these three things. Awareness allows your child to understand that traffic can be dangerous, and that they can get hurt if they don’t follow the rules. Behavior includes the various things you can do to stay safe (use a crosswalk, hold hands, etc.), and Choices emphasize that they are responsible for making the safe decision.

Crossing the Street

Kids should always look left, right, and left again. Theoretically, the left is where a car will first strike them if they cross the road. That’s why it’s important to check twice. They should always cross with an adult if under 10 years old, and be sure to hold hands. It’s also important to make eye contact with drivers before crossing. In other words, make sure they see you crossing. Never run near traffic.

Teens and Electronic Devices

For older kids and teens, the emphasis should be on intelligent decisions. Never cross the street with headphones in, and be sure to put your phone away. For teenagers under 20, traffic and car accidents are the number one cause of death. Illustrate the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as the danger of being near traffic while intoxicated or high. Emphasize the consequences of bad decisions, and be firm.

Continue Learning

Finally, make sure to take something away as an adult. Teaching road safety might seem like something that only kids can benefit from, but it’s important to build on your understanding of traffic laws and safety. Do you sometimes jay walk? Do you text and drive? Make sure to set a good example and stay safe yourself.