You may never be able to prevent every accident from happening, but there are steps you can take to potentially reduce the risk and make you and your children safer when out in public. The next time you venture out for a walk with your family, keep the following tips in mind to help your children avoid pedestrian accidents.
The average New Jersey pedestrian accident lawyer assists with a wide range of pedestrian accident claims, but many would likely say that very few happen on sidewalks. Most vehicles will steer clear of sidewalks, which means they may be the safest place for you and your children to be when navigating your town or city’s streets.
If there are no sidewalks for you to use, one of the most crucial pedestrian safety tips you can teach your children is to walk on the left side of the road. Rather than having traffic approaching from behind, they can see it coming toward them.
Limit Your Distractions
It can be easy to be preoccupied when you’re walking along a busy street. You might be distracted by store displays, your phone, and the people around you. However, it can be crucial to make your children your primary focus. By staying alert of your surroundings, you can be on the lookout for any hazards that may pose a risk to their health and safety.
Make Yourself Visible
Driving conditions can change every day, and if you’re walking with your children or on your own, you want to be as visible as possible to vehicle operators. Wear light-colored clothing and even consider the use of reflective materials to make you more visible in low lighting. If you’re walking your children to school, shop around for backpacks with reflective features to further increase their visibility.
Teach the Importance of Stopping and Looking
Children don’t always understand when they’re in dangerous situations as they haven’t developed their danger awareness instincts yet. As a result, they may not think twice about chasing a ball onto the road or running across a busy street when they’re running late for school.
Teach your children about the importance of stopping and looking as soon as you start walking around your local streets with them. Each time you need to stop and cross a street, verbally state what you’re doing and why you’re doing it to help them understand why it’s a rule they must follow.
In 2017, one in five children under age 15 killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians. While not all of these accidents can be prevented, you may be able to help your children be safer by teaching them about the importance of using crosswalks.
Even if they have to walk out of their way to access one, these dedicated walking areas may be easier for drivers to see than a child stepping out onto a busy road that isn’t safe for pedestrians.
Walking may be an effective way to get to your destination, but it can be dangerous for children who don’t know how to keep themselves safe. The next time you venture out for a family walk, keep these practical tips in mind.