Top tips to keep our young children safe on the roads!

It is September! Schools are back and every child deserves a safe journey to and from school.

Children are our most vulnerable road users.

A study by UK researchers concludes that children in urban settings are at risk when traffic speeds are higher than 20mph- as they may not be able to detect approaching vehicles.

The risk is exacerbated because a vehicle moving faster than 20mph is more likely to result in a pedestrian fatality in the event of a collision.  Across the globe, pedestrian injuries are the third leading cause of death for children aged between five and nine years old.

The results of the study suggest that children’s visual and perceptual limitations in gauging speed and distance are a “key deficit” contributing to such injuries as they are at greater risk of stepping out in front of cars that are travelling at higher speeds.

In the United Kingdom alone, 30% of individuals killed are children aged 0 to 15 years old.

Driving in excess of 20mph in a residential or school area increases the potential severity of any impact with a pedestrian but also increases the risk that a child will cross in front of the vehicle. Children in inner city areas are at much greater risk as they make more journeys on foot and spend more time playing on the street because there are fewer play areas. There are more cars parked in the street which means visibility is reduced and makes crossing the road more hazardous.

  • Teach children about road safety and the Green Cross Code.
  • Young children should not be using roads without an adult.
  • Expand children’s road safety vocabulary to include words like pedestrian crossing, zebra crossing and kerb,
  • Tell them that because they are small and traffic is big they find it difficult to see traffic and vice versa.
  • Sing a road safety song.
  • Influence the people who drive them to school.
  • Ensure children use safety equipment such as child seats and helmets.
  • Drive with care in built up areas and around schools.
  • Slow down.

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