Talking to Your Children about Pedestrian Safety

School is back in session. It is a good idea to take a few minutes to speak with your children about pedestrian safety as they walk to and from school, or to and from Metro as they make their way to school.

Crossing the Street

pedestrian safetyChildren should know crossing the street is actually a two-step process. There are rules for preparing to cross the street, as well as crossing at an intersection. Each of these steps is important in their own right.

Preparing to Cross the Street

Before children cross the street, there are some essential steps children should take. First, children should always stop on the corner before crossing the street. They should look left, right, and left again before stepping foot off the curb. Children should use more than just their eyes when assessing potential dangers in crossing the street. They should also use their ears, listening closely to determine if there is danger before stepping into the intersection.

Crossing the Street

When crossing streets, children should cross in a marked crosswalk if one is available. Consider alternate routes from home to school, or home to the metro stop, and select routes with a crosswalk when one is available. Where a crosswalk is not available, they should still make a point of crossing at the corner. Crossing in the middle of the street – especially when coming out between two parked cars, is extremely dangerous. This is especially true for children under the age of 10, who do not typically have the judgment necessary to gauge the speed of approaching cars.

Give Walking Your Full Attention

Walking should be given one’s full attention. Regardless of the temptation to answer texts or check something on the internet, children should be encouraged to put their screens away and pay attention to the task at hand. Children should be especially cautioned against using headphones when walking to and from school. Headphones can block out the noise of traffic, which can be extremely dangerous.

Make Eye Contact with Drivers

Children should be taught to never presume a driver sees them. Instead, they should remain cautious at intersections, even if they have the right of way. Children should stay on the curb until cars come to a complete stop. They should also strive to make eye contact with car drivers prior to leaving the curb. These steps reduce the potential of being hit by a car while walking to school.

Stay Safe When Walking To and From School!

At Hilton & Somer, we want you and your family to be safe. Talking to your children about pedestrian safety is an essential part of your overall safety plan. If your child is injured by a car or bicyclist while walking to and from school, call Hilton & Somer. Our pedestrian injury attorneys will meet with you to discuss your options going forward. From covering the cost of medical bills and expenses, to addressing pain and suffering, we can help your family explore possible areas of recovery. Call our office today to schedule a no cost consultation at (703) 782-8349. We look forward to working with your family.

For More Information

3 Walking Tips for Kids – How to Stay Safe

Washington DC Pedestrian Accident: Are You at Fault?