Youth road safety tips
Our youth are more at risk on the roads than they think. Most youth don’t realize that they are more likely to be killed or injured in a road accident either driving or as a pedestrian than any other age group.
Helping to protect your child
Talking with your child and reinforce road safety concerns to help keep them safe:
• Stress the need to concentrate and be careful at all times, limit and avoid all distractions.
• Warn of the dangers of distractions; Radios/Stereos, iPods, texting, phoning or even talking to friends while driving or walking may be big distractions.
• Keep talking about the dangers of traffic / pedestrians and watching other drivers.
• Point out people who are endangering themselves or acting carelessly.
• Encourage your teenager to practice judging the speed and distance of approaching vehicles on busy roads and at intersections identify safe gaps in the traffic.
• Stress that your child should never lose concentration and follow others blindly into dangerous situations, ie intersections, crosswalks, passing.
Cycling, Skate Boards, Scooters
It is a good idea to:
• Buy and encourage your youth to wear a helmet, and something fluorescent and reflective to improve their visibility.
• Encourage your child never to take lifts or rides on the front or back of a friend’s bike.
• Ask your child never to listen to music while they are cycling, skateboarding or riding a scooter so they can hear the environment around them.
• Make sure your child knows that they must obey all traffic laws, signs and traffic light signals.
Reinforce their skills
Talking to your youth often about road safety will keep it fresh in their minds. You could ask your child where the risks are on their route, or play games guessing what speed cars are traveling.
You could also talk about the routes your child takes regularly, and ask questions about what is on the route to see if they take notice of their environment. Help them to identify the safest route possible. Routes with less traffic, road crossings, painted crosswalks, and sidewalks.
For your peace of mind, have routines that you can both stick to. You could try discussing the following points and finding an answer for each of them:
• What will they do if they miss the bus home?
• Do they have phone numbers, a mobile phone (fully charged), a phone card, money or know how to reverse the charges if they need you?
• What should your youth do if they have to stay behind at school?