Three ways for making children road safety aware
With statistics revealing that five people are killed on the roads every day in the UK, and more than 60 seriously injured, road safety is still, and will always be, an important subject.
Making your child road safety aware
The risk of a road accident is higher among children as they start to use the roads independently when they get older. If your child is reaching the age where they are going to be using the roads alone, here are a few ways you can engage with them about road safety awareness.
1. Road safety quizzes
Secondary school children are likely to be more independent as they travel to and from school without you. To make sure they understand how to cross the road or catch the bus safely, why not test their road safety knowledge with a quiz? There are plenty of quizzes online for all ages, which ask questions like ‘what must you do before crossing the road?’ and ‘what should you always wear in the car?’. These types of questions will help to educate children about the rules of the road and get them thinking about road safety awareness and how to avoid an accident.
2. Discuss the consequences of poor road safety behaviour
Another effective way for making children aware of road safety is to talk about the consequences of not taking care when using the road. You could sit down and look at the effects of a road traffic accident and discuss what will happen if, for example, they don’t follow the Green Cross Code, or wear a seatbelt when travelling on a bus or in a car. You could say that the accident might mean that they won’t be able to ride their bike with their friends, or that they won’t be able to play football for a while or even forever after the accident. By showing and telling them what happens if they don’t use the road safely, it will help them to understand the consequences of taking risks as a road user, and hopefully will encourage them to follow the rules properly. Even stopping in a layby near a busy road and getting out of the car and (holding their hands) watching the traffic go past will give them an idea of the speed that vehicles go, and the noise; it’s a sobering lesson.
3. Repeat road safety messages
You can make sure your child is always aware of road safety by repeating messages. If they are walking to the shop, remind them of the importance of sticking to the footpath and making sure they aren’t wearing their headphones, or that they are not on their phones when crossing the road; telling them they are vulnerable to theft may hit home. If you are using the road with them, point out different road traffic signs and remind them of what each one of them means. When using the road with them, always lead by example and tell them why you are waiting until traffic from both sides has stopped before crossing the pedestrian crossing, for example.
These are just a few ideas for ways you can engage with children about road safety awareness, but the most effective one of them all is to always lead by example – whether you’re driving, cycling or walking. How have you taught your child about road safety?
Author bio: Thompsons Solicitors is the leading personal injury law firm in the UK. As road traffic accident specialists, our road safety campaign, Stay Road Safe, aims to remind people of the importance of road safety to help reduce the risk of an accident.