Road Safety Rules To Teach Your Children
Kids are fascinated by cars early, but learning how to be safe around them doesn’t come as naturally. In 2017, one in every five children under the age of 15 killed in crashes were pedestrians. You can improve those statistics with these road safety rules to teach your children. It can help them understand the world around them, give them a sense of control, and build self-esteem. And if you can engage with your kids and make it fun, the rules of the road will be much more memorable.
In the Car
- “Check your seatbelt.” Children should always make sure their buckle is fastened, even if parents have forgotten to do it.
- “No distracting the driver.” Grownups must keep their eyes on the road at all times, and kids must refrain from causing distractions.
- “Obey the signs.” While driving, point out different traffic signs to your kids, and explain what they mean.
Make it fun: Give children points for pointing out sign shapes, bicycle helmets, and cars going too fast.
- “Take off earbuds.” Earbuds cause difficult hearing warning shouts and sirens.
- “Don’t play on the sidewalk.” Sidewalks are for walking, whereas yards and parks are for playing.
- “Never approach unfamiliar cars.” Children should never approach adults who claim to know a child’s parents, say they have candy, or want help looking for pets.
Make it fun: Go for a walk or bike ride together, and ask them if they can show you how to get home.
Crossing the Street
- “Wear bright clothes.” Drivers need lots of help to see pedestrians, even during the day. Pick out some appropriate clothes with your child.
- “Only cross at intersections.” Be sure the kids get to press the “walk” button if there is one. Explain that it’s against the law to cross in the middle of the street.
- “Green doesn’t always mean go.” Even if the sign says they can walk, pedestrians must look both ways, and make sure that all vehicles have stopped before crossing.
Make it fun: Draw intersections on the driveway in chalk, and use toy cars and action figures to practice.
Teaching road safety rules to your children will be more effective if you can show, not tell. Illustrate the lessons with games, or let kids pretend to be policemen who catch you breaking the rules. Emphasize smart decision-making over scare tactics. And remind them of what they’ve learned as they transition from bicycles to walking with friends, and eventually to being drivers themselves.