Helping children understand road safety rules is more important than ever before. While more and more vehicles come with advanced safety features, including Mazda i-ACTIVSENSE, not all accidents can be completely avoided with driver assist technologies.
Road safety for kids should always be adapted and simplified to help them understand the basics. Safe Kids suggests parents start with looking both ways. Children should do the following when crossing:
- Look left
- Look right
- Look left again
Kids should make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street, ensuring that the drivers see the children preparing to cross. Waving before crossing is welcomed as well. Looking left twice is important because that’s where oncoming traffic would strike first, theoretically.
Parents should enforce strict rules about putting phones, headphones, and devices away when crossing. This is a good rule for teens as well as young children. You need to be able to see and hear without distraction when crossing.
Always cross at a street corner and crosswalk. Teach kids to wait for traffic and crosswalk lights. Jaywalking is not only illegal but also highly dangerous. Also, let kids know the importance of walking on the sidewalk, rather than the street. If they must walk on the road, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
Finally, if your child is under 10, make sure they cross with a trusted adult every time. This is a general rule; if your child is less responsible, consider extending the rule. Also, in most locations it is perfectly acceptable for kids and teens to ride bikes on the sidewalk—traffic-bicycle laws are usually reserved for adults on bikes.