Statistics show that children are at greatest risk of becoming involved in pedestrian accidents involving a motor vehicle. Boys between five and nine years of age are especially vulnerable. Pedestrian accidents are the leading cause of injuries to minors and children, and most of these accidents take place close to children’s homes.
There are number of reasons why Florida pedestrian accidents involving children are so common. One of the leading reasons is because children do not always have a great sense of danger and cannot always appreciate the danger of running out into the street. Many children also have difficulty determining how fast a car is coming, and therefore have a hard time estimating when it is safe to cross a road or street. Some children, especially younger children, may run into the street without checking to see whether cars are coming, out of impulse.
Children who are old enough to cross the street alone should be taught a number of safety rules. The safety rules include:
1) Finding the right routes. Teach your child to select routes that offer the fewest streets to cross. Also, teach your child to select routes that involve very few high-speed or busy streets.
2) Wearing the right clothes. Wearing bright clothing in the daytime and reflectors at night can keep your child safe by making your child more visible to drivers. Dark colors can blend in with a dark night and can make your child harder to spot.
3) Careful crossings. Teach your child to always look both ways for motor vehicles before crossing a street. Also, practice so that your child does not cross behind or within 10 feet of a large motor vehicle, truck, or bus. Explain to a child that the driver cannot see within 10 feet of their vehicle. Teach your child to look for parked vehicles that may be ready to pull forward. It is best to practice by taking walks together and by letting your child lead the way across streets. You can then evaluate how aware and how cautious your child is.
4) Obeying regulations. Teach your child to always cross on green lights at traffic signals, and teach your child to always check for motor vehicles, even when they have the right of way. Explain that drivers do not always obey the rules, and make sure that your child understands the necessity of always obeying traffic signs and signals.