According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1.3 million deaths occur each year due to road collisions. Over 50 percent of these are vulnerable road users such as motorists, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
But there is nothing more heart-wrenching than seeing children getting injured or dying on the road. As a parent, you are responsible for fostering your children’s safety on the road, whether they’re inside your vehicle, riding a bicycle, or crossing the street. As such, education is the key.
Educating your kids about road safety can make a world of difference in protecting their lives. It can go as simple as telling your children to wear seat belts and as complex as teaching them to ride a bike properly. In fact, the proper use of seat belts can reduce mortality cases by 45 percent and injury cases by 50 percent.
That said, here’s how to teach your children about fostering road safety:
1. Orient your kids about traffic lights and signs
When teaching your children about road safety, start orienting them about traffic lights and signs. Inform them of the meaning of the traffic light colors—red for stop, yellow for slow down, and green for go. Also, educate them about what the traffic signs mean. For instance, tell them that the walking man symbol typically seen at intersections is for pedestrians. Make sure that they are well-aware of all the vital signs on the road.
2. Teach your kids the proper way of crossing the roads
Crossing the roads can put your children at risk. The last thing you want to happen is for them to get accidentally hit by a car when crossing. First, advise your children to use the pedestrian lane all the time. Also, inform them to pay attention to the surroundings and anticipate vehicles coming. Plus, tell them to avoid crossing roads at bends. Lastly, never let them run on roads crossing the street or playing in the neighborhood.
3. Remind your kids about the importance of using sidewalks
What are sidewalks? Of course, they exist for some good reason. As the name suggests, they serve as paths for people to walk, not on the road itself. For this reason, teach your children to always walk on the sidewalk. As a parent, you should be a role model by setting a good example.
4. Educate your kids about safety protocols when inside a moving vehicle
When hitting the road, your focus must be on road safety. It doesn’t mean that your children are already safe inside your car. There are safety protocols you must ensure and that they should strictly follow. Below are some of these:
- Wear the seat belt all the time.
- Never stick hands out of the car.
- Make sure to lock the car doors.
- Never leave your children alone in the car.
5. Teach your kids about safety when riding a bicycle
It’s easy to see children riding a bicycle, whether in the neighborhood or on the road. For this reason, teach them how to ride a bike as safely as possible. The best course of action is to take them biking and teach them how to do it right. Also, make sure they wear the right clothes and get protected with gear. Lastly, ensure they have no mobile phones or gadgets when doing so.
6. Let your kids be conspicuous, especially at night
Most children are small that they won’t appear visible on the road, especially at night. Make sure that your kids look conspicuous when hitting the road. Here are a few recommendations:
- Wear clothes with light colors at night.
- Wear bright clothing during the day.
- Wear flashlights to help drivers and motorists see you at night.
- Wave your hand to show your presence.
7. Be a responsible driver so that your kids will emulate you
As a parent, you must always be a role model. And this idea applies to hitting the road. Know that people have basic expectations from you as a driver. These include driving with a valid license, using a vehicle in top shape and working condition, following traffic rules, and having a clean driving record. Some New Yorkers even take a PIRP course online to reduce the points on their driving records. If you’re a responsible driver promoting road safety, your children will be too.
At this point, you now know how to teach your children about promoting road safety. Consider the valuable parenting tips recommended above, from orienting them about traffic lights and signs to being a responsible driver yourself for them to emulate. By doing so, you can ensure that your children are always protected on the road. In the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry!