Research shows that children under 12 years of age haven’t developed the skills and experience needed to be safe in traffic.
Children have difficulty:
- judging speed and distance
- seeing objects in side vision
- identifying the direction of traffic.
Children are also at risk because:
- their size makes them hard to see.
- they are curious and impulsive, so can run into danger without realising.
- they don’t notice objects in their side vision unless they turn their head.
- they have difficulty working out the direction of sounds because their hearing is not as developed.
It’s up to adults to set a good example, supervise and help children work out what to look out for and how to cross the road safely.
- Model positive road safety behaviours when children are around, such as not jaywalking. Make sure you use a dedicated crossing whenever possible.
- Talk through why it may or may not be a good idea to cross the road with your child; start with talking about traffic signals, such as what the green light means.