Pedestrian-related injuries are among the top ten leading causes of injury-related hospitalization for children and older adults. Not only do children need to be taught how to be safe walkers but adults also need to role model proper behaviors and be alert for traffic as well.
Tips for being a safe pedestrian
Cross streets safely.
- Cross at a corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Don’t assume that because you can see the driver, the driver can see you.
- If your view is blocked by a car or object, before crossing, make sure vehicles are not coming and that they see you.
- Look left, right and left again and back when crossing. Keep looking as you cross.
- Walk, don’t run, across the street.
- Never listen to music, talk on a cell phone, or text while walking. Be alert for traffic.
- Obey traffic signals and watch for vehicles running red lights.
Walk on sidewalks or paths.
- If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
Be a safe pedestrian around cars.
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
- Parents and kids should hold hands in parking lots.
- Check frequently for children when backing out of a driveway or a parking space.
Set pedestrian safety rules for your children.
- Parents are the most important models of proper pedestrian behavior for children.
- Never allow children under age 10 to cross streets alone.
- Adult supervision is essential until you are sure a child has good traffic skills and judgment.
- Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
- Make sure children know to cross 10 feet in front of a school bus, never behind.
- Wait for adults on the same side of the street as the school bus loading or unloading zone.
- Teach your child never to run out into a street for a ball, a pet, or any other reason.
Help create an environment that’s safe for pedestrians.
- Make sure your child plays in safe places away from motor vehicles, such as yards, parks and playgrounds.
- Fence off play areas from driveways and streets.
- Never allow your children to play in or around cars.
Be Safe, Be Seen
- Dress to be visible by wearing light, bright clothes with retro-reflective markings, esp. at dusk, dawn, or dark times.
- Carry a flashlight or other lighting when walking at twilight and dark.