Pedestrian Safety for Kids 5-9
Walking down the street might seem like a no-brainer. However, there are certain safety tips that are extremely important to keep in mind while walking, especially near a busy street.
Always walk, not run, across the street. When you’re walking near a road with cars driving by, don’t mess around or start playing with friends; pay attention to the road and make sure cars can see you. (Whenever possible, wear bright clothing, which can help drivers see you right away.) Always walk with an adult, such as a parent or an older sibling, if possible.
When you are ready to cross the street, make sure to look both ways before you step into the roadway. While waiting to cross, make sure there are no large objects shielding you from the view of oncoming cars (such as large trash bins and parked cars). Walking out from between large objects can make you a surprise for drivers.
If there is no sidewalk to walk on, walk on the far left side of the street, facing traffic, so you and the driver can see each other coming from a long way off.
Lastly, make sure to walk distraction-free. Common distractions include iPods, other music players, handheld games, and cell phones. If you are distracted, it’s harder to see cars turning into your path, backing out of parking spaces, backing out of driveways, or simply driving down the street.
Pedestrian Safety for Ages 10-14
Many young adults of this age understand the basic rules of walking safely. However, it is important to remind yourselves of basic pedestrian rules every once in a while to stay healthy and safe.
Always walk on the sidewalk, and if there is no sidewalk to use, walk on the left side of the road (facing traffic) so that you can see oncoming traffic and drivers can see you. This way, you can get out the way quickly if you need to for some reason. Never play around near a busy road or intersection. A friend could push you into the street—or vice versa—in an accident with tragic consequences.
When crossing a major intersection with a stoplight, always wait for the walk signal. However, don’t enter the intersection right away; look both ways to make sure no car is attempting a last-minute turn before you enter the roadway. Don’t try and “beat” the signal if the countdown has already started; simply wait until the walk signal comes back around and it is safe to cross.
Lastly, distractions are a dangerous hazard for pedestrians. Get rid of distractions like iPods, texting, and handheld games while walking, as these devices can keep you from seeing oncoming cars.
Pedestrian Safety for Ages 15-18
Pedestrian accidents can be devastating. More than 4,700 pedestrians were killed in car accidents in 2012, and another 76,000 were injured. On average, a pedestrian is killed every 2 hours and injured every 7 minutes in car accidents. Approximately 8,000 people ages 16-20 are injured or killed while walking every year.
Most high-school age young adults understand the basics of pedestrian safety. However, no matter your age, there are certain safety tips that everyone should keep in mind:
- If there is no sidewalk to use, walk on the far left side of the road (facing traffic) so you can see oncoming cars
- If you are walking in the dark, wear bright or reflective clothing so drivers can see you
- Refrain from texting while walking or using other distractions, such as iPods and handheld games
- Even when cars are supposed to stop or yield for a crosswalk, make sure you look both ways before entering the roadway
- Always walk, not run, across the street; running makes it more difficult for cars to react and stop in time