Here are some statistics about children and road safety in the U.K.:
- . Around 150 children are killed on U.K. roads each year
- . Over 26,000,000 cars on the roads in the UK
- . Over 32,000,000 cars, trucks, taxis and buses on the roads in the UK
- . A child hit by a car travelling at 40mph has an 80% chance of dying
- . A child hit by a car travelling at 30mph has an 80% chance of living
- . In one study drivers believed driving at 40mph in a 30mph limit was more acceptable than dropping litter
How Do You Keep Your Children Safe?
The easy option is to drive your children everwhere and then you know they are not on the roads. Of course this is neither green nor practical, we need our children to learn how to cross roads safely and where possible we should encourage them to walk/cycle to destinations to help with a healthy lifestyle.
I feel I was quite sensible as a child on the roads but I did once chase a ball into the road without looking if anything was coming. I ran straight in front of a motorcyclist who swerved and just missed me, I was very lucky but that incident scared me to death (and the motorcyclist) and I was very careful from that point forward. Hopefully your child will not need a near miss like that to make them realise the danger of traffic and the speed of vehicles.
The Green Cross Code
This is broken into 6 sections -
- . Think First
- . Stop
- . Use your eyes and ears
- . Wait until it's safe to cross
- . Look and Listen
- . Arrive alive
Try and cross at a crossing, subway, school crossing or traffic warden. Do not cross on a bend.
Stop at the edge of the kerb and always stand back from the edge a little. Have a good look around you and make sure you can see the traffic in both directions.
Use your eyes and ears
Look in all directions and listen carefully for approaching traffic.
Wait until it's safe to cross
Leave plenty of time to cross the road, do not rush into gaps in traffic.
Look and Listen
When it is safe cross the road and keep looking and listening all the time.
Get to the other side safely looking and listening all the time.
When walking always try and stick to pavements and footpaths.
When there are no pavements always walk on the right hand side of the road so you can see traffic approaching you.
Walk in single file when walking on the bend of a road.
Try to avoid crossing a road between parked cars, they will make it harder to see oncomming vehicles and the driver will find it harder to see you.
For details about safe cycling visit our parenting artcile here - Safe cycling