Road Safety For Kids: Crosswalks, Bike Safety, & More
Traffic injuries can occur in a variety of situations. Children must navigate the roads to get to and from school, whether on foot, by bike, or on a school bus. Children also spend time on streets, traveling on bicycles and walking. Education is a large part of keeping kids safe on roads. Teach children about road safety so they can walk, bike, and travel by school bus safely. Kids need to know how to cross streets correctly while watching for cars. Crossing the street only at corners is an important safety rule for pedestrians. Children also need to understand traffic rules before they operate a bicycle on the street. Because of the potential for injury around school buses, kids must understand safety in this situation also. Initial and ongoing education should help keep kids aware of these safety issues.
Kids often enjoy riding bicycles because it gives them some independence. Although children may see bicycles as exciting toys, they are actually vehicles that share the road with motor vehicles. Consequently, children must learn safety rules before they take to the streets on bicycles. Parents must also monitor their children to ensure that the children follow safety rules.
A bicycle must fit a child correctly to ensure that the youngster can reach the pedals and handlebars safely. Everyone riding a bicycle should wear a properly fitting helmet to protect the brain in the event of an accident. Children must also learn the rules of the road. Bicycles travel along with traffic flow, moving on the right side of the road with motor vehicles. Bicyclists must also obey all of the same traffic rules and signs that motorists obey. Using hand signals to show other drivers where they are going will help increase safety. In many situations, children will be safer if they operate bicycles on the sidewalk instead of the street. This is especially true for kids younger than 10. Check local ordinances about riding bicycles on sidewalks to ensure that this is permissible. Even on the sidewalk, however, kids must know to watch for vehicles moving into or out of driveways. Children must always stop at corners to look for cars before crossing streets.
Children who ride school buses to school must receive education about safety. The safety issues with school buses do not involve the actual riding experience on the bus. The greatest risks to children involve the times when they are getting on and getting off of a school bus. Instruct children to position themselves at least six feet away from the curb when a bus arrives at a bus stop. Kids should always line up in an orderly fashion to get on a school bus. They should also wait until the driver opens the doors and tells them it's time to get on the bus. Anytime crossing the street in front of a bus is necessary, kids should walk to a point that is a minimum of 10 feet in front of the bus before crossing to ensure that the driver will see them. Children should never cross the street behind a school bus. Anytime a child drops something near a school bus, the driver needs to be alerted before anyone can retrieve the item.