According to Indiana crash reports from 2012, 64 pedestrians were killed in vehicle accidents that year. The road should be a safe place but tragedies happen. No parent would ever want their child to become one of the victims of a pedestrian accident.
Though you don't have control over how drivers are acting on the road, you can teach your child how to be safe when walking home from school or through the neighborhood. Talk to them about these 5 safety tips:
1. Look both ways before crossing, even at stoplights.
It's one of the most basic safety tips we teach our children: "Look left, right, left before crossing." However, it's important to make your child understand that they need to do this every time they cross the street, even if they have a "walk" sign at a stoplight. Children should always be aware of oncoming cars to make sure that the car has stopped and it is safe to cross.
2. Always cross at crosswalks or street corners.
Teach your child to always use a crosswalk if one is available. If there is no crosswalk, they should always cross at a stop sign or at least a street corner. It's dangerous to cut across the middle of a road because drivers are less likely to be watching for pedestrians in those areas and/or may not be able to stop the car in time.
3. Always walk on the sidewalk.
When walking along the side of a street, your child should always be on the sidewalk. If your child has to walk along a street that has no sidewalk, teach them to always face traffic and stay as close to the side of the road as they can. Consider planning routes with them that have the most sidewalks available.
4. Give buses a lot of room.
If your child takes the bus to and from school, they should understand how to be safe around buses. If they need to cross the street in front of the bus to get home, teach them to walk far enough in front of the bus that they can see the driver in the window.
5. Watch for brake lights in a parking lot.
The streets are not the only place pedestrian accidents can happen. Parking lots can be dangerous as well, especially for children who cannot be seen through the back window of a car. Teach your child to watch out for brake lights, which signal that a car is planning to back out of a parking spot.
Always accompany your child and hold hands in a parking lot to help keep them safe.