Left, Right and Left Again: Protecting Your Pedestrian Children and Teens


“Look both ways before crossing” is as common as hearing “Be sure your shoes are tied.”  However, the more we hear things, the less likely we consider their importance, especially if we are a kid or teen.  That’s why it’s incredibly important for adults to teach kids and teens about being an aware pedestrian.  Awareness is especially important in the modern age of incessant texting and looking down at smartphones.  Of course, it’s not only pedestrians that are preoccupied; drivers also text and talk when they should have eyes on the road.

Troubling Facts

Based on 2013 statistics:

  • 4,735 pedestrians were killed in crashes
  • A pedestrian is killed every 2 hours
  • A pedestrian is injured every 8 minutes
  • A pedestrian death accounted for 14% of motor vehicle crashes
  • 26% of fatalities occur between 6 and 9 pm
  • Alcohol (consumed by the pedestrian, driver, or both) were involved in almost half of all fatalities

Be Extra Careful at Night

According to the NHTSA, 32 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur between 8 pm and midnight.  Visibility is less reliable at nightfall, and drivers can have a hard time seeing small children and teens.  Driver vision is especially limited during rain, snow, sleet, and other inclement weather conditions.  However, this doesn’t mean teens won’t walk at night with friends, but they do have to take added precaution.

Tell them to wear light colored or reflective clothing, stay in well-lit areas,  and not try to cross in the middle of the road or places that are not designated crossing areas.  Furthermore, teach them to make eye contact with drivers.  Tell them to be especially wary of trucks since it’s harder for drivers to see from higher up or from behind.  If a loved one is injured by a truck, don’t hesitate to explore legal options at Craig, Kelley, & Faultless LLC.

Avoid Distractions

Teens and children need to stay alert when jogging or walking alongside the road.  Joggers and fast walkers sometimes listen to music while exercising, but this limits awareness and the sense of hearing.  Aside from wearing headphones, distractions are abundant, especially in the age of smartphones and apps.  Though it’s tempting for teens and kids to talk or text while walking, it’s more important for them to keep eyes on the road and listen for oncoming traffic.

Follow Rules

Teens and young kids like to bend rules or sometimes defy them.  However, it’s not about being an independent thinker when it comes to traffic rules; it’s about being safe and following traffic laws. Remind your teen that doing so is a mark of maturity.   This is especially true of older brothers and sisters who need to watch out for impressionable younger siblings.  Moreover, rather than be influenced by peer pressure, teach your teen to be a leader and follow the rules of the road regardless of whether their peers think it’s uncool.

Walk in Packs

Kids should never be out on the streets alone.  Be sure they get in the habit of walking in a group.  A pack is easily seen by approaching motorists.  This is especially helpful at night.

Georgia Lawrence is a Mom of 2 kids under 5 and also has a step-family of teen kids. Georgia also enjoys writing and blogging and mostly writes about family, kids and parenting issues.

Similar Posts:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.