Unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth-leading cause of injury-related death in the U.S. for children ages 5 to 19 according to Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children. While your family is getting out and enjoying the cooler weather, this is a great time of year to reinforce — and model — pedestrian safety rules.
Cross the street at street corners using traffic signals and crosswalks. While crossing, look left and right for traffic. Be prepared to get out of the way if a driver doesn’t seem to see you. Children under 10 need to cross the street with an adult. While every child is different, developmentally, most kids are unable to judge the speed and distance of oncoming cars until age 10.
Expect others not to see you. Many drivers and even cyclists can be distracted, and they won’t always be paying close enough attention to pedestrians. Do not step into the roadway until the driver has stopped for you or has acknowledged your intent to cross with eye contact, a wave, or a nod.
Give drivers extra time to slow or stop, especially in poor weather (ice, snow, or rain), and low visibility (at dusk and dawn, in the fog and rain, or at night).