Another school year has started which means more children are out playing and crossing streets to get to and from school.
Are they paying attention? Do they have their heads down looking at electronic devices? Unfortunately, “Elmer the Safety Elephant” is no longer appearing at schools to teach children about road safety like he did in days gone by. It is up to parents to teach their kids how to be safe when they’re out and about.
Yes, even small children have cell phones to be used as a safety device in case they’re in danger or need help…but cell phones are also a big distraction! Start good habits early. Teach your child, regardless of age, NOT to be using their cell phone or other electronic devices when they’re out walking to school or anywhere for that matter. In fact, have them stow the device in their backpacks until they get to their destination.
On many occasions I’ve been driving along when a kid just walks across the road, or runs after a ball, without so much as a glance to see if a car might be coming; and if they do stop and look, it’s still not OK to just cross assuming the car will stop. Teach your children to make eye contact with all drivers before crossing (even if it’s a cross walk) … this is extremely important as the driver may not see your child due to a variety of reasons including blind spots, distraction, and even the sun. https://saferide4kids.com/blog/9-tips-teaching-child-road-rules/
Drivers out there… pay attention! Put down that cell phone, or better yet, when you step into your vehicle to get behind the wheel, take a second to put it on airplane mode. There is no urgent need to be connected while you’re driving. Not only is it illegal to text and drive, even if you are stopped at a stop sign or lights, it only takes a split second to make a deadly mistake.
Consider this: if you are doing the posted speed limit, let’s say 40 km/h in a neighborhood, your car is travelling 11 meters per second. There is that bing noise; your phone alerts you to a new message. You look down just for a quick peek at the message …. that takes at least 5 seconds.
The average person takes 1.5 seconds to react and apply the brakes in an emergency. All of a sudden, a child runs out in front of you. By the time you look up (after 5 seconds), apply the brakes (1.5 seconds) you just travelled approximately 71 metres. IT’S TOO LATE! YOU HAVE JUST RUINED A CHILD’S LIFE AS WELL AS YOUR OWN. Do you really think you will ever be able to forget hitting a child for a text message? I know I couldn’t!
Parents…Teach your children about road safety.
Drivers…Pay attention. Multi-tasking while driving is NEVER OK.
Let’s all keep our roads safe!
“Do not think because an accident hasn’t happened to you that it can’t happen” – Safety saying, circa early 1900s
Photo source: pinterest.com