As children grow up, develop self-confidence, and learn more about independence, they learn to use different types of public transportation. Since they can commute without adult supervision, children are exposed to a variety of risks while commuting. Road accidents involving children can be avoided.
In 2019, around a hundred were injured in vehicular mishaps. Hence, children need to build their basic skills as car passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and scooter riders. They have to learn how to choose the safest mode of transportation and assess ever-changing road environments.
Parents and teachers should be role models when it comes to road safety and good pedestrian habits. They can teach their children how to avoid dangerous road situations and be safe. Here are some reasons why children need to understand the value of road safety:
Children, especially toddlers, are curious about their surroundings. Their adventurous nature makes them explore everything. This places them in the line of peril as their curiosity can easily confuse them. They can be injured because of sudden changes in traffic movement. The easiest way to educate children about road safety is through safety signs. Singapore has many road traffic signs that can be used as teaching material for kids. Understanding kids’ curious nature is the best way to keep them safe while on the road.
A child’s safety is an adult’s responsibility, and children’s behavior can’t be classified in a specific developmental area. Their social, physical, cognitive, and emotional development are reasons why they are at risk. Also, they are in a stage where their actions and reflexes are still developing. It makes it more difficult for adults to get children out of dangerous situations. Remember that a child’s body is fragile and prone to serious physical injuries
Lead by example
A child’s curiosity and behavior are important factors when teaching him or her about road safety. However, adults must lead by example. While driving, they should always wear their seat belts. Observe the mandatory speed limit and take note of traffic lights. While commuting, parents should stress the importance of using the pedestrian lane or walkway.
Remind them to “Stop, Look, and Listen” before crossing the road. When in doubt, don’t cross the street. While biking with kids, wear the proper gear such as high-visibility vests, cycling shoes, safety pads, and helmets. Children look up to adults as role models, so you should act as such.
Be calm and patient
Teaching children about patience and controlling their emotions is essential. This teaches them to be rational thinkers while commuting or walking. Road rage is a serious road safety concern. Gopinath Menon, former Vice Chairman of the Singapore Road Safety Council, revealed that most road rage incidents go unreported due to the hassle. This is why parents need to restrain their emotions while on the road, as children emulate adult behavior. If you want to help curb incidents of road rage, be calm and patient.
Children need to understand the basic principles of road safety. This will help them cope with real-world traffic situations and react appropriately. However, these will depend on what they learn from their teachers and parents. Education is always critical in making children excellent motorists and pedestrians.