B. Morales for Rubenstein Law
Of all pedestrian accident victims, kids are the most vulnerable. In the U.S., at least 44 children are hit by a vehicle while walking each day.
The ability to use reason and judgment is a skill that belongs to adults. It's a part of the brain doesn't fully develop until the mid-20s! A young person is "more likely to act impulsively, on instinct, without fully understanding or analyzing the consequences of their actions." In other words, they’ll need you to help them stay safe.
Be sure to lead by example. Your kids notice everything, and their brains store what they observe. As the parent or guardian, learn the best practices for pedestrian safety and follow them for yourself.
Teaching a child according to their age or comprehension level will ensure that the lesson is well-received. Keep in mind, children under 10 still need to be held by the hand when crossing, as they have the impulse to dart off spontaneously.
Remind middle school and high school students to put their phones away and take off headphones when traveling. One in five high school students and one in eight middle school students cross the street distracted. Girls are 1.2 times more likely than boys to walk distracted. It's important to explain that just like driving there are very real risks if you are paying attention to your phone instead of your surroundings when walking.
Below are videos on pedestrian safety tips to watch and discuss with your children.
Tips for Parents:
Videos for young children:
Videos for grade-school children:
- What is a pedestrian?
- What happens when someone runs into the street without being careful?
- What is the best place to cross the street? What does this area look like?
- When is it OK to cross the street?
- Why is it important to always look left, right left when crossing?
- Why do you have to signal a driver before crossing?
- What do I need to remember when walking through a parking lot?
- Why is it a bad idea to be on your phone or use headphones when walking around?