6 Pedestrian Road Safety Tips Parents Need to Teach Kids

July 27, 2022

6 Pedestrian Road Safety Tips Parents Need to Teach Kids

Teaching your children how to navigate streets and intersections as a pedestrian will help keep them safe as they get older. Young children obviously need to learn how to assess what routes to take as a pedestrian and when it is safe to cross roads. Below are several important pedestrian road safety tips that you may want to consider teaching your young child. 

Child Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Important child pedestrian accident statistics from one recent year compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration include:

  • 17 percent of children killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians
  • 73 percent of child pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban areas
  • 67 percent of child pedestrian fatalities occurred at non-intersection areas, with 20 percent of fatalities occurring at intersections, and 13 percent occurring in other locations such as the shoulder or roadside, on the sidewalk, in a parking lot, or in a driveway

When Are Children Old Enough to Walk Alone?

There is no “bright line” age when a child can be deemed old enough to navigate the streets as a pedestrian on their own. Every child is different, and some children will learn and mature faster than others. A good sign of when your child may be old enough to walk as a pedestrian by themselves is when you have decided that your child is old enough to be left home without supervision during the day. When you’ve made this decision, it indicates that you believe your child is mature and independent enough to keep themselves safe. 

Important Pedestrian Safety Tips for Kids

You can teach your child important pedestrian safety tips by example, walking with your child through various pedestrian situations such as crossing an intersection, crossing through a marked crosswalk, crossing parking lots, passing driveways or alleyways, and walking down streets with and without paved sidewalks. Tips to teach your child include:

  • Use paved sidewalks and well-lit routes to get to your destination whenever possible
  • Even when you have a green light or walk signal to cross a street or intersection, you should still check traffic to make sure that all vehicles have stopped before you cross
  • Check to see how fast oncoming vehicles are traveling before you cross; if they do not seem to be slowing down, do not start to cross the street as the driver may not see you
  • On a multi-lane street, check each lane to make sure that traffic has stopped for you to cross
  • Avoid distractions while walking, including looking down at a cell phone or wearing headphones to listen to music
  • Make yourself as visible as possible to drivers; this may include wearing brightly-colored clothing and carrying a flashlight when walking at night

Teaching Your Child How to Safely Walk as a Pedestrian

The process of teaching your young child pedestrian safety tips gradually changes as they get older. Steps may include:

  • Ages four to six: Children should always be accompanied by an adult and should hold the adult’s hand at all times. Try to explain pedestrian safety practices in simple terms, including pointing out why they should always cross at an intersection or marked crosswalk.
  • Ages seven to nine: Children should still be supervised while walking, with instruction moving to more complex concepts such as checking traffic volume and judging the speed of vehicles.
  • Ages 10 and above: Children at these ages should have the appropriate attention and decision-making skills to follow pedestrian safety practices. If you know that your child will be following certain routes, you should walk with them until they become familiar with the route and know how to safely navigate it.

Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Pedestrian Accident Case in Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a pedestrian accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured because of pedestrian accidents in  Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 766-1455 or email us to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Home visits can be arranged in certain situations. 

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.