On the first Wednesday of every October, thousands of children from all over the world participate in International Walk to School Day. The celebration began in 1997 as a one-day event, but over time, this event has become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school for our children. In the spirit of this day, we’d like to share some Walk to School Day safety tips from NHTSA and Safe Routes to Schools.
According to NHTSA, 20% of children 14 and under killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians. To help change this statistic, we encourage everyone to share these basic safety tips with kids to give them a refresher on pedestrian safety.
Stop, Look, and Listen!
Anytime a child wants to cross a road, they should:
- Never walk directly into the road, and stop before going into the street.
- Look for traffic by looking left, looking right, and looking left again.
- Listen for traffic that you might not be able to see.
Ensuring Kids Walk Safely
Remind kids to:
- Always check for traffic themselves.
- Never follow anyone or anything into the road.
- Keep checking for traffic as they cross the street, remembering that traffic can come from behind and in front of them in addition to left and right.
- Check that parked cars are not running before walking around them.
- Use crosswalks when available, knowing that drivers may not stop for pedestrians in crosswalks even if they’re supposed to.
- Always walk when crossing the road—never run.
- Walk on the left side of the street when possible to face traffic so they can see oncoming cars.
- Stay aware and not allow phones, toys, music players, or anything else to distract them.
- Wear reflective material, bright-colored clothing, and carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.
Children walking on a sidewalk may think they are safe from cars, but driveways are one area where pedestrians and cars share space. Remind kids to:
- STOP before they get to the driveway.
- CHECK cars that are parked in the driveway. Don’t move if the backlights of the car are on or there is a person inside.
- LOOK left, right, and left, and cross once they’re sure the car is not moving and other cars aren’t coming into their path.
Walking to school has many benefits: it’s fun, reduces pollution, gives children exercise, and minimizes traffic. It’s great to remind kids of these benefits in addition to the safety tips to encourage them to walk to school!
About PARRIS Injury Lawyers
PARRIS Law Firm specializes in pedestrian injury cases, obtaining a $14.8 million settlement on behalf of an 11-year old girl who was hit by a car while crossing the street, as well as a $5 million settlement for a girl who was hit by a car while walking her dog. Since it was founded in 1985, PARRIS Law Firm has recovered over $1.4 billion in verdicts and settlements for clients. Call PARRIS at (661) 485-2072 to start your free case consultation. You pay no fees until we win for you.