Children face extra challenges around traffic. They rely on you to learn how to act safely around roads and they also need to deal with being smaller and having less developed cognitive skills. Research shows that children under 12 years of age have not developed the skills and experience to be safe in traffic. Children have difficulty:
- judging speed and distance
- seeing objects in side vision
- identifying the direction of traffic.
Children are the same height as cars
Children are small and about the same size as bushes or parked cars, which means they can't see over them or be easily seen by drivers.
Lack of concentration
Children tend to focus well on one thing at a time, often ignoring everything else going on around them.
May dart into traffic
Since children are always on the move, they may not stop at the kerb.
May panic if conditions change
Children won't always use safe behaviour consistently and a sudden change in traffic conditions can make them confused.
Have difficulty judging speed and distance
Children have difficulty working out a safe gap in the traffic and may let a slow car pass first but walk out in front of a fast moving one.
Won't notice objects in their side vision
Children tend to notice only those things directly in front of them. Unless they physically turn their head, they may not see cars approaching from the left or right.
Have difficulty working out direction of sounds
A child's hearing is not as well developed as that of an adult and they may have difficulty working out the direction of traffic sounds.